Regional Operators Band Together During Negotiations
The leaders of five Air Line Pilots
Association pilot groups met in Cincinnati last week to develop a
common strategy in dealing with current and upcoming contract
negotiations with their respective managements.
Capt. J.C. Lawson, Capt. Michael Jayson, Capt. Bill Dressler,
Capt. Tom Wychor, and Capt. Dave Nieuwenhuis -- the Master
Executive Council (MEC) chairmen of the pilot groups at Comair,
Mesa Air Group, ExpressJet, Mesaba, and Atlantic Southeast Airlines
-- expressed the unity of their pilot groups, as they work towards
common goals during contract negotiations with their respective
ALPA tells ANN the August 14 meeting provided a forum for
developing a pattern-bargaining approach to negotiations. With the
pilots of Atlantic Southeast Airlines poised to enter their sixth
year of contract negotiations, the leaders expressed concerns and
discussed strategy for this and for Mesa Air Group whose pilots are
preparing to enter negotiations in September of this year.
Comair MEC Chairman Capt. J.C. Lawson stated, "This meeting was
a tremendous success. By presenting a united front and a common
strategy, we will be able to negotiate improved contracts that will
reward pilots for all their hard work and dedication."
Mesa Air Group MEC Chairman Capt. Michael Jayson agreed, "Our
pilots are frustrated by management's utter disregard for many
sections of our current contract and fully appreciate the support
we receive across company lines from our fellow ALPA brothers and
sisters. By having strategic and successful meetings such as this
one, we will maximize our bargaining strength."
ExpressJet MEC Chairman Bill Dressler added, "The success of
this meeting allows us to negotiate with confidence with our
managements. The era of managements whipsawing pilot groups against
each other to compete for flying, at the expense of all pilots,
must come to a close."
Atlantic Southeast Airlines MEC Chairman Dave Nieuwenhuis
concluded, saying that, "We're putting to bed any notions our
respective managements have that they are going be able to pit
pilots against each other for their gain. That's just not going to
The meeting of the pilot leaders focused on the common goal of
building unity and reaching out to all carriers. While more work
remains, the future is coming into focus.
"What happens at one carrier is going to affect pilots at other
carriers," Capt. Tom Wychor, MEC Chairman for Mesaba Airlines
observed. "If we watch out for one another, we protect ourselves at
the same time."
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents more than 61,000 cockpit
crewmembers at 40 airlines in the US and Canada.