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Comair Unions Asked For Concessions By Saturday

Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:57 pm

Comair appeals to flight crews

Airline promises 80 new jets if contracts altered

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Comair management Wednesday went directly to pilots and flight attendants in its quest to cut labor costs, promising more than 80 new jets if those workers would agree to adjust their contracts.

In Wednesday's memo to all flight crew members, obtained by the Enquirer, Comair vice president of flight operations Don Osmundsen made the promises. Those include getting 83 new jets for the Erlanger-based airline and the jobs that would come along with that new flying, as well as a guarantee that Comair flight crews would remain the highest paid in the regional industry.

The memo came less than a week after leaders of Comair's branch of the Air Line Pilots Association turned down a request to renegotiate its contract.

Wednesday's memo said Comair's corporate parent, Delta Air Lines, was giving the company until Saturday to get the concessions and lower costs; otherwise, those planes would be put out for bid to other carriers.

Pilot union leaders said Friday that management was not giving the pilots enough time. The decision to cut off talks also ended talks with the flight attendants, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The pilots' current contract, reached after a bitter 89-day strike in the spring of 2001 almost killed the airline, does not expire until 2006. The flight attendants signed their five-year deal in July 2002.

ALPA chairman J.C. Lawson III on Wednesday confirmed the offer made in the memo. But he would not comment on what it would do to the possibility of reopening the contract or say what it would take to start talks.

He did say that the union was still open to the possibility of talks, although he would not comment on what concessions the airline was seeking.

Comair spokesman Nick Miller would not confirm the details of the memo, nor would he discuss what the airline was asking for in return for the promises made in the memo.
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Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 2:01 am

RE: Comair Unions Asked For Concessions By Saturday

Fri Oct 31, 2003 1:03 am

turning the heat up. Very interesting.