Mesa Air Group Pilots Denounce Local Television Station for Misrepresenting Mesa Pilots in News Story

  Mesa Air Group Pilots Denounce Local Television Station for Misrepresenting
  Mesa Pilots in News Story

Business Wire

PHOENIX -- February 7, 2014

Today, Mesa Air Group pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association,
Int’l (ALPA), condemned a news story aired by Phoenix-based Fox affiliate KSAZ
News 10 on February 6. The sensationalized story cited a number of
inaccuracies, including one that asserts that no pilots were laid off during
Mesa’s 2010 Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that a Mesa Airlines captain can earn
$100,000, while proclaiming that “starting pay is modest.”

“In truth, our pilots often leave flight schools with more than $100,000 in
student loan debt, only to find a job at Mesa paying $22,000 a year,” said
First Officer Marcin Kolodziejczyk, head of the Mesa unit of ALPA. “This is
unconscionable for a well-trained pilot entrusted with the lives of hundreds
of passengers each day. After eight years, a first officer may expect to make
$40,000 a year, while he waits to be upgraded to captain. This is hardly the
lucrative career path that the news story depicted.”

Though the story claimed that the company was able to “avoid lay-offs” during
its 2010-11 bankruptcy, in fact, the company furloughed almost 500 pilots plus
flight attendants and many other employees in an effort to cut costs. The
pilot group also took deep cuts in quality-of-life issues, such as health
care.

For the past two years, the pilot leadership at Mesa has been attempting to
recuperate many of these benefits during contract negotiation talks with
management. However, talks have been slow on the economic issues of the
contract, and pilots continue to work under a 2008 agreement while their
company touts new planes, a bright future, and a growing business.

“We are extremely proud of our company’s achievements and are excited about
new aircraft and new business opportunities,” continued First Officer
Kolodziejczyk. “However, this shouldn’t be used as a platform for the company
and the media to whitewash the past and misrepresent the current status of our
pilots. Our pay scales, work rules, and scheduling continue to be near the
bottom of the regional airline industry. If Mesa Air Group truly wants to
celebrate its success, we invite them to do so at the negotiating table by
offering a fair and equitable deal to their pilots.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly
50,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA
website at www.alpa.org.

Contact:

ALPA Media, 703-481-4440
Media@alpa.org
 
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