FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Captain Tom Hoban
ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION COMMENDS REPUBLIC PILOTS: "ANOTHER STAKE IN THE GROUND" TO TURN PROFESSION AROUND
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2014) — The president of the Allied Pilots Association, certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, applauded the pilots of Republic Airways Holdings for rejecting a tentative agreement the Republic pilots deemed deficient.
"In turning down the tentative agreement, the Republic pilots exercised their collective right to demand pay and benefits commensurate with their chosen profession," said APA President Capt. Keith Wilson. "Their courage is but another stake in the ground to turn around a professional career path that has been in a lengthy downward spiral.
"Pilots at ExpressJet/ASA, Mesa and Air Wisconsin are currently in contract talks that likewise have the potential to reverse substandard pay rates, benefits and working conditions. APA will continue to support those pilots' efforts as well."
Several recent academic and governmental studies, along with the APA Scope Committee's "Sink Rate" series, have cited low wages offered to entry-level pilots as a disincentive to enter or remain in the professional pilot labor force. The Government Accountability Office report titled "Aviation Workforce: Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots" pointed to rising wages, along with active hiring and a low unemployment rate in the profession, as evidence of a shortage by the accepted economic definition.
"By rejecting their tentative agreement — which included slightly higher compensation but lacked adjustments to other crucial contractual areas — the Republic pilots provided yet more evidence that the looming pilot shortage will continue to build," Capt. Wilson said. "To prevent a serious shortage from becoming reality, frank discussions regarding the current domestic regional feed system's broken business model must occur.
"APA is ready to initiate such a discussion regarding American Airlines' ability to recruit pilots into new entry-level positions. American Airlines can provide for its future cockpit crewmember needs by taking a leadership role and creating a quality career path. In doing so, the airline can differentiate itself from its network-carrier competitors, which could find themselves with a surplus of aircraft at their regional-feed partners with no pilots to fill the seats."
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union's website is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the world's largest passenger airline.