Pinnacle Pilots Respond To The “Rejection Of Collective Bargaining Agreements”
 
 
  
 
 
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Pinnacle Pilots Respond To The “Rejection Of Collective Bargaining Agreements”
 
By Eddy Metcalf
 

September 16, 2012 - Back in April Pinnacle Airlines, which is a regional airline and operates as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines along with its subsidiaries including Colgan Air filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Pinnacle Airlines sought a $76 million in annual labor cost reductions amounting to 7 to 24 percent hourly pay cuts and along with other concessions from its pilots.

Pinnacle Airlines had signaled that if its pilots and management could not reach a labor agreement by September 13, the company would request the bankruptcy judge throw out the pilots’ contract. On Friday Pinnacle Airlines filed for Section 1113, a rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements.

 
Since Pinnacle Airlines had filed for bankruptcy protection it allowed the company to file a “Rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements” under section 11 United States Code (U.S.C.) under section 1113. Captain Tom Wychor, Chairman of the Pinnacle Airlines arm of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) responded to the filing of the “Rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements” “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.”

“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.”  

Pinnacle Airlines is based in Memphis, Tennessee, with its main flying operations based at Memphis International Airport, with hubs at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
 
 
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