Release #09.013
April 2, 2009

Pilots the World Over Adamantly Oppose Outsourcing Jobs

WASHINGTON—Pilots from around the world are voicing their staunch opposition to the recently announced joint venture between United Airlines and Aer Lingus that will not use United or Aer Lingus crews on new Aer Lingus flights between Washington, D.C., and Madrid, Spain.

“The pilots of United and Aer Lingus have made enormous sacrifices throughout their careers to help their companies succeed to the point where they can expand international routes,” said Capt. Paul Rice, First Vice President of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA-I) and Deputy President of the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). “It is an outrage that the same pilots who helped these companies prosper are being denied their right to fly these new routes.”

The flights are scheduled to begin in April 2010, and the companies plan to add service to additional cities in 2011. In 2012, the airlines intend to create a new jointly-owned European carrier to take over these employees and services.

Representatives of Irish ALPA, ALPA-I, Sindicato Español de Pilotos de Lineas Aéreas (SEPLA), and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) met in New Zealand during the 64th IFALPA conference. At the conference, the pilots shared information and discussed a common strategy to best protect the interests of the various parties’ constituents. Pilots attending the conference were unified in supporting their brothers and sisters at United and Aer Lingus in standing up to this blatant act of union-busting by the managements of both airlines.

“The proposed agreement between United Airlines and Aer Lingus has far-reaching implications for all pilots and airline employees around the world,” said Capt. Steve Wallach, chairman of the United Airlines Master Executive Council of ALPA, speaking to an international group of pilots at the North American Regional meeting at the IFALPA conference.

“This is yet another attack on our wages and working conditions, and it must be stopped,” continued Wallach. “The outsourcing ‘race to the bottom’ must not be allowed to continue unabated. In the United States, at least, airline managements appear to have not yet grasped the fact that the political landscape has changed. No longer can they routinely expect approval of corporate schemes that punish workers.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 52,250 pilots at 35 airlines in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1948, IFALPA represents pilot associations in more than 100 countries across the globe.

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Contacts: Linda Shotwell, 703/481-4440 or