Continental and United Pilots Rally in New York City's Financial District to Highlight Slow Pace of Contract Negotiations and Lack of Merger Progress

Sep 27, 2011, 06:00 ET from Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l. (ALPA)

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United and Continental pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l. (ALPA) will conduct informational picketing today in New York's financial district to highlight management's poor performance in advance of the one-year anniversary of the corporate merger close date. There has been little progress with negotiations on the pilots' joint collective bargaining agreement, one of the keys to completely unlocking the synergies from the transaction, thus allowing the investment community, employees and passengers to truly benefit from the merger. More than 700 Continental and United pilots are expected to participate in the event, joined additionally by pilots from other ALPA carriers and independent pilot unions.

Captain Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental pilots union, stated, "Management may be attempting to portray success with the progress of the merger, but the reality is that it takes more than painting airplanes, hanging new airport signs and revamping a frequent-flier program. We are ready to begin the real work of creating the world's largest and best airline, and that starts with reaching agreement on a pilot contract. Real progress with implementing the merger requires the involvement of pilots and an acknowledgement by management of the contributions that pilots make in creating a successful airline."

"United management continues to squander this golden opportunity to create the world class airline it promised to the employees, to the shareholders and to the flying public nearly 17 months ago when the United/Continental merger was announced," said United MEC Chairman Captain Wendy Morse. "The longer these negotiations toward a joint collective bargaining agreement drag on, the less likely the company will be able to enjoy the benefits this merger offers.

"The company has wallowed in the weeds long enough. It's time for management to stop focusing on the minutia and turn its attention toward the issues that really matter to the pilots of United and get this contract completed. The days of our pilots laboring under a bankruptcy contract have to end."

Negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement that would cover both United and Continental pilots have been underway since August 2010. Agreements in principle have been reached for only nine of 25 sections and one Letter of Agreement. None of the major sections dealing with work rules, pay, scope/job protection or retirement/benefits has been resolved.

ALPA represents over 53,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the United States and Canada, including approximately 5000 at Continental and nearly 6000 at United.

SOURCE Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l. (ALPA)