This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

US Airways Pilots Vote for New Union

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A dissident group of pilots won a historic election at US Airways (LCC) Thursday, ousting the Air Line Pilots Association as their representatives after 57 years.

The recently formed U.S. Airline Pilots Association gained 2,723 votes, compared with 2,254 votes for ALPA, in a union election conducted by the National Mediation Board. About 95% of the 5,238 eligible pilots voted, including around 4,300 active pilots.

The vast majority of 1,800 pilots from the former America West likely voted for ALPA, meaning that only about 500 of the pilots from the former US Airways, known as the "east," failed to support the new union.

The primary issue was an arbitrator's ruling on pilot seniority that followed the 2005 merger between the two airlines. The 2007 ruling appeared to favor west pilots over east pilots, placing hundreds of east pilots with 15 or more years at the airline behind west pilots with a couple of years.

The two pilot groups have been bitterly divided since the ruling. But about two dozen USAPA backers, who gathered at a Charlotte hotel to await the election results, said they would seek a peaceful accord with the west pilots.

"We will welcome them into the process, so that we can represent all pilots," said Mark King, a Philadelphia-based captain who is USAPA secretary-treasurer. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't that way. We can't succeed as a union if we are fighting each other."

King said the ruling no longer has any standing since it was done under the auspices of ALPA, which has been replaced. He declined to be specific about how to take the next steps toward pilot integration, saying that will be worked out in talks with west pilots, who will be expected to select representatives from their bases in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Beyond a few cheers and some brief hugs and handshakes, there was little celebration as the results were communicated in a phone call from USAPA leaders at the NMB offices in Washington.

USAPA spokesman Scott Theuer said the union is prepared to take over at 10 a.m. Friday and will handle representational, grievance and other issues from its Charlotte headquarters.

But ALPA spokesman Pete Janhunen said USAPA may be overwhelmed by the task ahead of it.

"While their glee in the moment is understandable, it is a sad day for all airline pilots," he said. US Airways pilots will lose medical, legal and representational assistance to which they have grown accustomed, he said.

Also, USAPA could face litigation, Janhunen said. "As we have said, the new representational agent will inherit all the agreements we had, including the seniority list, and if they fail to implement it, they are likely to be sued for a lack of fair representation by the west pilots."

Meanwhile, US Airways said it will honor the election results and "reach out to USAPA for talks toward a single agreement for our pilots," who continue to work under separate contracts for the east and west.

The merger that formed US Airways was the last big transaction in the airline sector. This week, Delta (DAL) and Northwest (NWA) agreed to merge, and many analysts expect more consolidation. Continental (CAL) and UAL's (UAUA) United have been named as potential partners, though US Airways is said to itself have held talks with United.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs