America West Pilots Not Convinced on US Airways Merger

Assurances of America West President Doug Parker apparently are insufficient to quiet concerns of its unionized workforce. The pilots’ union would not elaborate on matters it raised during a meeting with airline management, but it indicated it had raised a number of issues. Parker offered reassurances that he wants to protect frontline employees – including pilots –- from potentially adverse career impacts resulting from the merger.

“We understood this was an uphill climb to make this deal work," union head JR Baker said in a statement. "Despite [Parker’s] assurances, in less than one week we were back to the same mentality that legitimate labor concerns come a distant second in the priorities of some senior [America West] managers."

"Clearly, past labor-management relationships in this industry have not worked," Baker said. "We do not want to see the failed policies of past airline labor-management relations brought to our table."

In other news, ATA Holdings Corp. has taken a next step in climbing out of Chapter 11. The airline said it would hire Jefferson & Company, SkyWorks Capital and SkyWorks Securities to raise funding to support its emergence from bankruptcy protection. The engagement is subject to Bankruptcy Court approval. ATA said it plans to emerge from Chapter 11 in 2006.

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