Joint Contract Is 'First Step' in Merger of Three Pilot
The Joint Negotiating Committee
(JNC) for the pilots of Pinnacle Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, and
Colgan Air has reached a tentative agreement (TA) with Pinnacle
Airlines Corp. management on a joint collective bargaining
agreement. This is the first step in the process of merging the
three pilot groups, all of which are represented by the Air Line
Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA).
“This TA marks the end of nearly six long years of
contract negotiations for Pinnacle pilots,” said Capt. Scott
Erickson, chairman of the Pinnacle Airlines branch of ALPA.
“The terms of the new TA reward the tireless dedication of
the Pinnacle pilot group and clear the way to join with our
brothers and sisters at both Mesaba and Colgan to form one of the
world’s largest contract carriers.”
The JNC began intense, expedited contract talks with management
in mid-September following the purchase of Mesaba Airlines by
Pinnacle Airlines Corp., which also owns Pinnacle Airlines and
Colgan Air. The two negotiating teams met around the clock in the
last several weeks to reach a deal.
Pinnacle pilots have been working under a contract that was
signed in 1999 and became amendable more than five years ago.
Colgan pilots have been working without benefit of a collective
bargaining agreement, and Mesaba pilots have been working under a
concessionary contract resulting from their then-parent
company’s bankruptcy negotiations.
“This TA represents the cooperation, dedication, and
exemplary work ethics of three negotiating committees working
together as one pilot union,” said Capt. Mark Nagel, chairman
of the Mesaba pilots. “It was because of these negotiators
that we reached this deal, which includes industry-leading job
security, wages, benefits, and work rules.”
“Though the Colgan pilots joined ALPA only a couple of
years ago,” said Capt. Mark Segaloff, chairman of the Colgan
pilots group, “our ability to work with the pilots of Mesaba
and Pinnacle in the merger and on this joint agreement has brought
additional strength and stability to our carrier. With the joint
agreement, we will move from being one of the lowest-paid pilot
groups and working without a contract to being part of a major
player in the regional industry going forward.”
The tentative agreement review and ratification process will
begin with each pilot group’s respective Master Executive
Council (MEC) voting separately on whether to ratify the agreement,
which would then be submitted to the combined pilot group for
ratification. The Joint Negotiating Committee is currently working
to complete the full-language agreement required prior to
ratification by the MEC.
Capt. John Prater,
President of ALPA
“This is a momentous occasion for these three pilot
groups,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA.
“The commendable leadership skills displayed by these three
chairmen in supporting this process exemplify the solidarity and
unity that all pilots should emulate. Working together on a common
goal of one contract, one list, one voice, these pilots show the
rest of the industry what can be achieved by working