ALPA Pilots Rally on Capitol Hill to Protect Workers in International Airline
ALPA pilots rallied on Capitol Hill this week to call on members
of the U.S. House of Representatives to support the Aviation Jobs Outsourcing
Prevention Act (H.R. 4788), which directs the Department of Transportation to
ensure that new revenue-sharing agreements between U.S. and foreign airlines are
beneficial to U.S. airline workers as well as to their airlines.
Nearly two dozen ALPA members, including pilots from United Airlines,
Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and FedEx, joined Capt. John Prater,
ALPA’s president, to meet with Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who introduced the
“Congressman Bishop understands our concerns that good jobs are being sent
overseas,” said Prater in introducing Rep. Bishop. In his remarks, Rep. Bishop
acknowledged the critical support of Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), and Rep.
Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) for cosponsoring the bipartisan bill. Rep. Bishop
told the pilots gathered that the legislation now has more than 13 cosponsors
from both sides of the aisle.
“I appreciate the fact that the Air Line Pilots
Association was the first to make me and my colleagues in Congress aware of the
job losses pilots would face under these joint venture agreements,” said Rep.
Bishop regarding the legislation. “I am happy to once again be leading the
charge with the leading voice for pilots on another important issue that affects
all pilots and their families. I know we will be successful in addressing this
concern as both of us know that when we work together, we make things happen.”
After meeting with Rep. Bishop, the pilots visited Congressional offices
across Capitol Hill to send a message that the legislation is good for U.S.
workers whose companies participate in international alliances. This legislation
will establish basic requirements for U.S. airlines that enter into
international revenue-sharing agreements to ensure that these airlines conduct
an amount of the flying that is in proportion to the amount of revenue the
airline receives. A U.S. airline will be able to share revenue with a foreign
airline, but that revenue will be based on the amount of flying each airline
One such agreement involves United Airlines, which has entered into a joint
venture with Aer Lingus to fly a Washington-to-Madrid route. The inaugural
flight will occur this weekend. Under the joint agreement, United would provide
marketing and a feed of passengers, and would split the profits, even though no
United flight crews or aircraft will be utilized.
“This is an ALPA pilot issue,” concluded Prater. “It erupted at United
Airlines, but it could affect pilots at any of the ALPA airlines. United pilots
have the support of their union and this event on Capitol Hill today is just the
start of ALPA’s campaign to advance this legislation and protect our jobs.”
The Hill event was organized by Capt. Jim Smart, chairman of United MEC’s
Legislative Committee, Capt. Jim Anderson, chairman of the United MEC’s Strike
Preparedness Committee, and ALPA’s government affairs team.