Capt. Tom Wychor, Chairman of the Pinnacle Airlines arm of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), released the following statement regarding the Section 1113 filing by Pinnacle Corporation.
“Late last night Pinnacle filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to reject the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement. While this filing was expected, we do not think that it was necessary for Pinnacle to take this step so shortly after contract negotiations resumed. We believe the filing is an ill-advised distraction from the real work of negotiating a consensual agreement that maintains industry standard pay, work rules and benefits and can garner pilot support to help Pinnacle move through this difficult period.
“We acknowledge that concessions are necessary to allow Pinnacle to successfully reorganize. The extraordinary level of concessions sought by Pinnacle, however, would set a new floor for pilot contracts within the regional airline industry. The bottom line is this: in the five months since company executives filed for bankruptcy, they have not been able to justify the level of concessions they are seeking. Rather than solving its problems, Pinnacle executives are attempting to use the bankruptcy process to gain an overwhelming and unfair competitive advantage in the industry. We firmly believe that if the bankruptcy court allows Pinnacle to implement steep reductions in our wages, work rules and benefits that it is proposing, the cost of pilot attrition and inability to hire new pilots in the future would vastly outweigh the assumed short-term benefits of the imposed cuts.
“We encourage our management to bring to the bargaining table the same energy they have used to run to the courtroom. We must find enough common ground to form the basis for a new agreement, one that provides a future for both Pinnacle Airlines and its pilots.”
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Bombardier CRJ440 (CL-600-2B19) N8790A (msn 7790) arrives at the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub.