ALPA authorizes $2 million from union’s war chest to Midwest Airlines pilots


WASHINGTON, DC (September 11, 2008) – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) has allocated $2 million to support the Midwest Airlines pilots’ fight to protect their jobs as they begin contract negotiations with an increasingly adversarial management.

In its September 10 resolution, ALPA’s executive board authorized the amount from the association’s Major Contingency Fund (MCF) for “strategic planning and communications programs in support of the [Midwest pilots’] contract enforcement and negotiating activities.” ALPA’s MCF, the union’s “war chest,” provides pilot groups the necessary resources to respond to threats to their jobs and to the piloting profession.

“The airline’s plan to outsource Midwest pilots’ jobs is the latest example of management’s systematic efforts to dismantle our airline,” said Capt. Jay Schnedorf, chairman of the Midwest pilots’ Master Executive Council (MEC). “Midwest pilots will not shrink from this fight. With ALPA’s financial support and the backing of all 53,000 ALPA pilots, we stand ready to fully engage in the fight to protect our jobs and hold management accountable for its contractual obligations to this pilot group.”

The Midwest pilots’ contract became amendable on August 31, 2008. They negotiated their first contract in February 2000, and three years later, provided millions in concessions to help save their airline from bankruptcy. Over the past four months, as the pilots prepared to address their contractual concerns through the negotiations process under the Railway Labor Act called “Section 6,” management again demanded outrageous concessions from the pilots. Most recently, Midwest announced that, in addition to its parking of all the MD-80 aircraft, it would now replace all but nine B-717s with smaller EMB 170s and outsource that flying to pilots from another airline as part of a deal with Republic Airways Holdings.