Fri, Apr 10, 2009
NPA Votes Overwhelmingly To Merge With ALPA
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l said Friday the union is
"extremely pleased" by the decision by AirTran pilots to vote in
support of a merger with the pilots union.
A landslide 87% of AirTran pilots cast votes in support of
merging with ALPA, with more than 94% of eligible AirTran pilots
voting. The National Pilots Association (NPA) currently represents
the nearly 1,700 pilots of AirTran Airways.
"With this decisive vote, the AirTran pilots made it clear they
want representation by a strong international union that is run by
airline pilots and for airline pilots," said Capt. John Prater,
president of ALPA. "We look forward to working with the AirTran
pilots and to providing the union’s unparalleled professional
resources and expertise, as well as the support of other ALPA
pilots in Atlanta and across the country, to help them achieve and
enforce the fair contract they deserve."
As ANN has reported, the NPA has been locked
in contract talks with AirTran for years, with little success. Both
sides reached a tentative agreement in May 2007, but AirTran later
withdrew the offer. Since that time, neither side has budged from
their position -- pilots want more pay, while the airline wants to
trim its pilot-related costs by 12.5 percent.
The NPA and AirTran have since entered mediation... while union
members recalled their former president and vice-president. In
December 2008, NPA officials met with representatives with the
Teamsters about joining that union, but the Teamsters declined.
The merger decision must be ratified by ALPA's Executive Board
when it meets on April 28-29. If that happens as expected, the
merger will be effective on May 1, 2009.
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