FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Captain Sam Mayer
ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION VOICES STRONG SUPPORT FOR PRESERVING PUBLIC-SECTOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS
Fort Worth, Texas (Feb. 25, 2011)—The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,000 pilots of American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), expressed strong support for preserving the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers. State legislatures in Wisconsin and other states are debating whether to strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain as part of efforts to reduce budget shortfalls.
“Collective bargaining represents one of the foundational elements of a democratic society,” said President Captain David Bates. “After all, when citizens of various Eastern Bloc countries began seeking greater individual freedoms during the 1980s, trade unionists stood at the forefront of that movement. Denying workers in either the public or private sector the basic right of collective bargaining is antithetical to democracy.”
Earlier today the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill that strips collective bargaining rights for most public workers. The Assembly’s vote sent the bill to a vote in the Wisconsin Senate. At last report, some Senate Democrats remained absent, preventing a vote.
“We understand the need for policymakers to be fiscally responsible, but this is the wrong way to go about meeting that responsibility,” Bates said. “The Wisconsin Senate needs to do what’s right by voting the bill down. This is not just a Republican or Democratic issue—it’s one that goes to the heart of what it means to be an American.”
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,000 pilots of American Airlines, including more than 1,200 pilots not yet offered recall from furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s second-largest passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.