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News from ALPA International

April 12, 2012

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In This Issue:

PCL Pilots Protest Egregious Pay Discrepancies

View a photo slideshow of the picketing.

The pilots of Pinnacle Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, expressed their anger and frustration over their employer’s failure to accurately and timely issue their pay by informational picketing in front of Pinnacle Airlines’ headquarters in downtown Memphis on Wednesday. Not only are the pilots being shortchanged on payday, they are also having to wait an extraordinarily long period of time for the company to finally rectify the pay errors.

“Since February 24, 2012, we have received copies of hundreds of payroll discrepancy reports,” said Capt. Tom Wychor, chairman of the Pinnacle MEC. “In some cases, thousands of dollars are owed, and pilots go weeks without receiving the correct pay—or even any response from the company whatsoever.”

The event brought public pressure and scrutiny to bear on Pinnacle’s payroll mismanagement. According to Wychor, one pilot reported a pay discrepancy discovered in his February 16 paycheck, and after sending nine e-mails that went unanswered, the company finally acknowledged the error and has stated it will make the correction in the pilot’s April 16 paycheck, two months after the pay was due.

Wychor attributes the ongoing payroll issues to inadequate testing of a new payroll software system, communication issues between departments (Crew Scheduling, Human Resources, and Payroll), and combining three payroll systems (Pinnacle, Mesaba, and Colgan) into one system without proper oversight. “It’s apparent from the large number of affected pilots that the failures within the pilot payroll group are massive and widespread.”

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ALPA to Commerce: Financially Strong Airlines Good for Labor
“The best thing for a labor union is a strong company,” said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on April 12, where he championed ALPA’s call for decisive policy action to position U.S. airlines to better compete in the global marketplace.

Moak presented ALPA’s perspective on the importance of airline industry economics and leadership, as part of a panel titled “Working Together” at the National Chamber Foundation’s 11th Annual Aviation Summit in Washington, D.C.

“We need a level playing field or U.S. airlines will lose their ability to compete,” cautioned Moak. ALPA’s president emphasized that the U.S. airline industry needs the U.S. Department of Transportation to advocate on its behalf on issues ranging from U.S. domestic taxes to the European Union’s applying its emissions trading scheme to U.S. airlines. “With globalization and Open Skies agreements come responsibility,” he said, underscoring the U.S. airline industry’s need for leadership in Washington to compete internationally.

During the panel, Moak also pointed to the unfair financing practices of the U.S. Export–Import Bank as one example of a policy reform immediately needed to prevent U.S. airlines from having to compete at a disadvantage against foreign airlines and risking airline industry jobs.

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Known Crewmember Implementation Plans

View a photo slideshow of the meeting.

ALPA hosted a briefing yesterday in Washington, D.C., to discuss upcoming implementation plans for the Known Crewmember program (KCM).

ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak and Airlines for America (A4A) Sr. Vice President Dave Berg opened the meeting by emphasizing that the program’s success thus far is largely due to the coordination of the airlines, government, and our union.

The most encouraging news is that, after several months of behind-the-scenes work, KCM site surveys are scheduled at eight additional airports—Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Salt Lake City (SLC), Newark (EWR), JFK New York (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), Washington, D.C. (DCA), and Philadelphia (PHL).

Read more.

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ALPA Conducts Accident Investigation Training
ALPA’s Accident Investigation Course (AI2) was held this week in Herndon, Va. Twenty-four pilot volunteers from 15 ALPA pilot groups, as well as representatives from NATCA and an airline safety department, learned about U.S., Canadian, and ICAO accident investigation procedures.

The air safety representatives who attended this week’s course were instructed by members of the Accident Investigation Board and the Human Factors and Training Group, as well as ALPA staff from the Engineering and Air Safety, Legal, and Communications departments. This course curriculum prepares pilots to serve as ALPA coordinators or investigative group members in an investigation for a member pilot group anywhere in the world.

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Cargo Conference Next Week

ALPA is sponsoring a one-day conference on all-cargo operations April 17 in Washington, D.C., titled “Air Cargo Safety and Security: Closing the Gaps.” This important event will feature congressional and other government and aviation industry leadership to highlight numerous safety- and security-related differences inherent in all-cargo operations and identify ways to remedy these challenges.

The keynote address will be delivered by Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), who transported cargo as a former Northwest Airlines pilot. Cravaack serves on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and Homeland Security Committee. The agenda also includes the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and several senior representatives from government and industry.

The conference will be held in the historic Blue Room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The agenda and registration information are available at

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Stay Connected
Stay connected with your union, your profession, and your industry by reading Air Line Pilot magazine and watching monthly episodes of The FlightDeck.

Learn five ways you can help advance ALPA’s Pilot Partisan Agenda on page 24 of the April issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the 14th installment of The FlightDeck, find out what’s happening with the European Union’s emission trading scheme.

Remember that both Air Line Pilot and The FlightDeck can also be accessed from the members-only portion of the ALPA website at

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We Want Photos from the Line

The ALPA Facebook page is getting a facelift using your photos. Send your best pictures—taken in accordance with FARs, CARs, and company policy—from the airport or in the sky, and you could see them posted on the We Are ALPA Facebook page and on The FlightDeck. Submit your quality images to


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Other Industry News
• According to the Seattle Times, Boeing has announced details on how it plans to accommodate larger and heavier engines on the forthcoming 737 MAX while still meeting ambitious fuel-efficiency goals. Read more.

• The Canada Newswire reports that Transport Canada took its first step in implementing a 10.7 percent budgetary cut by releasing 33 employees. Read more.

• Wired says Hawaii spent $75,000 to purchase a drone to conduct aerial surveillance over Honolulu Harbor, but the Federal Aviation Administration refused to give the state permission to fly the equipment because of the harbor’s proximity to the Honolulu International Airport. Read more.

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On this day in 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth.

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Feedback & E-mail Address Changes
Questions or comments on this FastRead? Give us your feedback at

If you have moved or changed your ISP or e-mail address, please update your ALPA records. If you don’t, you will no longer receive the ALPA FastRead and other e-mail bulletins and notices, and once your postal forwarding order expires, you’ll no longer receive the magazine and other ALPA mail. You can do it yourself by going to and logging in. Go to “My ALPA” in the menu at the top of the page, and from there, you’ll be instructed how to make the necessary changes.

If you don’t have access to the members-only section of, you can e-mail your requests by sending them to Be sure to include your member number or enough other information so that we can identify you in the membership database, and tell us what information needs to be updated.

Please note that it is not sufficient just to notify your LEC or MEC of these changes—you should register them with the ALPA Membership Department in Herndon.

Can’t remember your member number or how to log in? Need information about your ALPA insurance programs? These and other questions about ALPA services can be answered by contacting

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Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l
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