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UA, CO pilots criticize management intransigence

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UA, CO pilots criticize management intransigence

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Jun 28, 2010

http://atwonline.com/airline-finance-da ... =nl_atw_dn

UA, CO pilots criticize management intransigence on transition agreement
By Perry Flint
June 28, 2010

United Airlines and Continental Airlines pilots on Friday criticized management at the airlines for "unwillingness to compromise" on issues "that have little financial impact" related to the impending merger of the carriers.

Both pilot workforces are represented by the Air Line Pilots Assn. and are negotiating a transition agreement intended to "ultimately result in a joint collective bargaining agreement and integrated seniority list" when the carriers complete their proposed merger (ATW Daily News, May 3), expected by year end.

"It is unbelievable that contract talks have stalled so early in the process and for such a basic item as a transition agreement," said CO ALPA Chairman Jay Pierce.

"Obviously, allowing talks to stall over noneconomic issues shows that management is once again choosing the wrong path," stated UA ALPA Chairman Wendy Morse. "Failure by management to choose the right path will lead to very predictable results; results that will not attain anywhere near the forecasted synergies that are being touted about this transaction."

While ALPA declined to comment on the specific areas of disagreement, a spokesperson said quality-of-life issues are one example of noneconomic issues. According the spokesperson, the transition agreement "establishes a bargaining protocol and negotiating schedule for the joint collective bargaining agreement," and also provides protections to each pilot group during the period of separate operation.

It also "contemplates how to return to our independent contract negotiations should the merger not be consummated…In essence, the transition agreement will define how we will do business while the airlines are being merged and a new agreement is completed."

A United spokesperson stated, "While our collective work did not lead to a transition agreement at this time, we are confident we can reach a joint agreement with our pilots." A Continental spokesperson said, "While we weren’t able to reach a transition agreement with our pilots at this time, we will continue to work with them on joint collective bargaining agreement."

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