Say They'll Block Any Deal That Pads Executives Wallets At
You probably saw this coming. In the
aftermath of news Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines plan to
join forces to create the world's largest airline, pilots at two
competitors also rumored to be on the brink of merging -- United
Airlines, and Continental Airlines -- said they would aim to block
any merger between their carriers that fails to take employees into
In a joint statement by Captain Steve Wallach, Chairman, United
Master Executive Council, and Captain Jay Pierce, Chairman,
Continental Master Executive Council, of the Airline Pilots
Association, both men said they demand to be treated 'fairly and
equitably' in any merger talks on the horizon.
"For the past several years, mergers and consolidation have been
part of the vernacular of the airline industry," the statement
reads. "Monday's announcement of a merger involving Delta and
Northwest Airlines could be just the first of a series of announced
marriages between major US carriers.
"Most airline analysts believe an announcement involving United
Airlines and Continental will soon follow Monday's Delta and
Northwest news. The management teams of United and Continental must
understand one hard fact: the pilots of our respective airlines
will not allow any merger unless management meets or exceeds our
demands to be treated fairly and equitably. Our concerns will be
addressed before we ever agree to allow our airlines to merge.
"If a merger benefits airline executives, Wall Street financial
groups and legal firms at the expense of pilots and the flying
public, we will use all lawful means necessary to ensure the
transaction is unsuccessful. We are not going to stand by and watch
as our futures are controlled by others," the statement continues.
"Pilots on both sides of a merger must be fully involved and will
play a significant role in the acceptance or rejection of an
"We have real concerns regarding any transaction involving our
airlines, and we have repeatedly asked our respective companies to
acknowledge and address those concerns prior to making any merger
or consolidation announcement. We will not stand idly by while the
CEOs and their executives attempt to merge our airlines without
regards to the long-term feasibility of the final entity.
"Let there be no mistake," the pilots conclude. "This is not
about pay or benefits. This is about survival. We will fight, on
every possible front, any attempt to merge our airlines at the
expense of the pilots."