Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Informational Pickets Set Up Tuesday At Reagan National Airport
The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the
pilots of US Airways, picketed Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan
Washington National Airport at 1200 EDT to bring attention to what
it believes to be US Airways' efforts to take advantage of its
pilots. The union says US Airways pilots are currently the
lowest-compensated pilot group among the major airlines.
The union said the picketing event was a continuation of the
pilots' public display of frustration with what USAPA believes to
be US Airways management's deliberate efforts to slow the pace of
contract negotiations since 2005. In October, US Airways reported a
third quarter net profit of $240 million, the highest third quarter
net profit in its history. The company has also reported record
traffic and leading metrics in on-time performance and customer
satisfaction during the last few months.
"Our pilots have made significant sacrifices in our salaries,
pensions and benefits to help US Airways during its times of need,"
said Captain Mike Cleary, president of USAPA. "Those concessions
have left our pilots the lowest paid in our industry. Our reward
for investing in this airline and posting leading performance
numbers is to remain the lowest-compensated pilots among our peers.
By dragging negotiations out for more than five years, US Airways
is effectively extending those concessions indefinitely.
Considering that US Airways is reporting record profits and 60%
increases in management costs since 2006, it is no surprise that
our pilots are angry."
"We firmly believe that US Airways management is taking
advantage of us by abusing the latitude afforded them in the
Railway Labor Act (RLA)," added Cleary. "However, under specific
circumstances, the RLA also permits job actions."
“It is important that the public realize that we have
always tried to work with US Airways management to seek joint
solutions, and we are committed to doing so in our contract
negotiations," Cleary continued. "However, after five years of
Management’s stalling tactics, we have to consider what is
best for our membership. Our negotiating positions are reasonable,
and we think that our passengers understand our unwillingness to
being taken advantage of. Everyone has their breaking point, and we
are prepared to strike as soon as we are legally permitted to do so
by the Railway Labor Act."
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