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Mesa pilots ratify new contract

11th December 2008 - 12:25 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Mesa Air Group pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), have ratified a new agreement which, the Association says, contains numerous industry-standard and industry-leading provisions.

The tentative agreement (TA) was announced in October when the ALPA Negotiating Committee reached a consensus with the company, and the Master Executive Council approved the TA to go to the membership for ratification. The vote closed with nearly 77% of eligible pilots voting on the agreement. Of the votes cast, 51% of pilots voted in favour of the agreement.

"Many pilots voiced their distrust in the company during the road shows and expressed their lack of faith in the company's desire to abide by any agreement," said Capt. Kevin Wilson, chairman of the ALPA unit at Mesa. "Trust is an integral part of any agreement, and we have communicated our pilots' concerns to the company. While changes are taking place, the outcome of this vote is a clear indication that there is still much work to be done."

ALPA says the new collective bargaining agreement will provide Mesa pilots with immediate scheduling and quality-of-life improvements, including a true definition of scheduled or actual flying time and the implementation of a Preferential Bidding System (PBS) that will allow the pilots to have more control over their schedules.

Despite the pilots' concerns, Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO, expressed his delight with the 24-month deal. "In supporting this contract our pilots have demonstrated their understanding of current industry conditions and have approved an agreement that both addresses their concerns and fully maintains Mesa's industry leading cost and productivity advantage. The agreement was concluded in record time and I would like to thank all of our pilots and in particular Captain Kevin Wilson, ALPA Master Executive Council chairman and the pilot negotiating committee, led by Captain Albert Montoya, Captain Patrick Phillips and Captain Casey Cole. Their dedication resulted in a tentative agreement in just over nine months at a time when most pilot negotiations last several years," added Ornstein.

The Shephard News Team


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