Allied Pilots Association Asks For Temporary Emergency
"The grim projections for the airline industry are
symptomatic of a larger problem that the companies, workers and
experts agree needs to be addressed to keep the industry from
collapsing," said Capt. John Darrah (right), President of the
Allied Pilots Association, the union representing 13,500 pilots of
American Airlines, the world's largest carrier. "But employees and
companies can't do it alone," Capt. Darrah said, calling it a
"national crisis, making airline employees the first casualties in
the war on terrorism."
"The U.S. airline industry's crisis needs the U. S. Congress to
urgently enact immediate, temporary relief measures," added Capt.
Bob Ames, Vice President of the Allied Pilots Association and the
union's political and legislative coordinator, "that can save the
industry and assist all the workers whose fates are beyond their
Calling the industry "vital to our national security and
critical to all aspects of our economy," Ames noted that the
financial burden imposed on carriers due to the effects of the war
on terrorism "will cause a cascading effect across the U. S.
economy ultimately reaching tens of millions of workers across all
sections of our nation if Congress doesn't act now."
U. S. airline carriers have asked their employees for major
concessions to insure continued operations, Ames pointed out, "but
no matter how much the workers are asked to contribute, their
sacrifices alone still will not alleviate this extraordinary
Northwest Airlines has recently asked its pilots to take a 20
percent pay cut. United Airlines, now in bankruptcy, forced its
pilots to take a pay cut of 29 percent. US Airways, in bankruptcy
since August, extracted a 50 percent pay cut from its pilots. Delta
has also approached its pilot union asking for substantial
"The crisis has not been caused by the employees and cannot be
placed on the backs of workers. That's why we're calling on
Congress to step up and provide temporary assistance so these vital
airlines can keep operating and our pilots, flight attendants and
mechanics can keep America's transportation system working for
everyone." said Captain Steve Blankenship, Communications Chairman
for the Allied Pilots Association.
"The magnitude of this situation is far worse than anything
previously seen in aviation history," said Blankenship. "Congress
must act quickly to adopt serious relief measures. The rising cost
of insurance premiums and the unfunded security mandates that
airlines have had to deal with since September 11, 2001, combined
with federal taxes and rising fuel costs have seriously sapped the
ability of every major carrier to continue providing the service
Blankenship added that with the airline industry already among
the most heavily taxed in the country, "to expect airline workers
to continue subsidizing in a significant way the nation's war on
terrorism is not only unfair, it's unrealistic." Headquartered in
Fort Worth, Texas, APA was founded in 1963.