Wed, Mar 19, 2003
ALPA America West Pilots Vote Down Last Year's Tentative
Pilots of America West Airlines,
represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International
(ALPA), have declined to ratify the tentative contract agreement reached
in December 2002. Of the 1,476 pilots eligible to vote [it was 1700
in December --ed.], 97% participated, with roughly 73% voting
against the proposed three-year agreement.
"The America West pilots were faced with the difficult decision
whether or not to accept a tentative agreement that truly did not
meet their needs and the needs of their families," said Captain
Peter Blandino, acting chairman of the America West ALPA unit. "The
pilots have chosen not to accept a substandard agreement,"
agreed-to less than three months ago.
America West pilots and management
began negotiating in February 2000 and the National Mediation Board
(NMB) assigned a federal mediator to facilitate the talks in May
2001. The NMB suspended talks immediately following the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The two sides resumed negotiating in
March 2002 and ALPA and management reached the tentative agreement
on December 21, 2002.
"Under the Railway Labor Act, the NMB retains jurisdiction over
our negotiations. That being the case, we will petition the Board
to bring the parties back to the negotiating table as quickly as
possible in order to work toward reaching an agreement acceptable
to our pilots," Captain Blandino said.
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