Management and representatives from US Airways pilots’ unions are meeting this morning in Washington D-C. It’s been two years since America West and US Airways merged and…still…the outcome of the meeting is anyone’s guess. KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer reports that it’s not clear if the two sides will be able to reach a contract agreement.
TG: Merging America West and US Airways has been anything but easy.
KIRBY: “A lot of good things have happened, and we’ve had our fair share of challenges.”
TG: One of the challenges US Airways President Scott Kirby may be referring to is contract negotiations with pilots. A key step in negotiations came in May with the combining of the two airline pilot seniority lists–determining pay, benefits, which airplanes pilots fly, among other things.
KIRBY: “That issue is really what has stalled negotiations on that front.”
TG: The roadblock comes from the old US Airways pilots camp. They say they’ve been with the airline longer than America West pilots, though those pilots have been given equal or better financial footing for less experience. US Airways pilots recently walked away from negotiations and demanded an immediate pay raise before talks continue.
TG: The America West pilots’ union rep Tania Bziykiewicz, (BJEW-kev-itch) says the best bet for all pilots would be an agreement with management.
TANIA: “We think the fastest way to benefit all pilots is to get a joint contract.”
TG: Old US Airways pilots are not expected to attend the meeting, and management won’t discuss specific pilot pay issues without all pilots represented. Some US Airways pilots are trying to muster support for their own union, which would cause the negotiation process to begin again.
For KJZZ, I’m Tony Ganzer.