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May 16, 2014

Envoy advises pilots it will reject a union proposal, the pilots union says

Envoy Air would reject a proposal for a new pilots contract that the union has been developing, according to a message sent out by the pilots union on Friday afternoon.

Air Line Pilots Association MEC chair Bill Sprague told pilots that the union had been working on a comprehensive proposal to submit to Envoy executives that had minor changes from the pilots' current contract.

"The company got wind of our intention and reached out to discuss it. We were advised that any such proposal would be summarily rejected, and that the aircraft intended to re-fleet Envoy are being committed to other carriers," Sprague wrote.

Since the pilots rejected the last contract proposal earlier this spring, Envoy has said that American Airlines Group management will be moving larger regional jets from Envoy to other third-party carriers.

Keep reading for the full letter from Sprague.

-Andrea Ahles

May 16, 2014

Message from the Chairman

Fellow Envoy Pilots:

When I was elected, I made a commitment to bring you the most up-to-date and relevant information. We would neither hide facts, nor misrepresent issues. A key component to that is to be honest and straight forward, even when the news is bad. I don't see any value in providing a false sense of hope or security. Many of you are making career decisions based on the future of our carrier. It is critical that you have the latest information to make those choices.

For the last couple of weeks, your MEC has been working on a comprehensive proposal intended to show company executives what kind of agreement would be supported by our pilot group. The proposal included many of the elements the company indicated it needed in order to be competitive in the FFD market. It focused on minor changes to our current agreement that would keep costs under control while positioning Envoy to attract new hires and keep providing the top tier product we deliver today.

The company got wind of our intention and reached out to discuss it. We were advised that any such proposal would be summarily rejected, and that the aircraft intended to re-fleet Envoy are being committed to other carriers. We were also advised of the following:

- They may come back to talk with us after they have committed our aircraft elsewhere. That could be in a few months, but would be for whatever, if any, aircraft are left over

- Several elements contained in the failed tentative agreement are completely off the table

- We will not see any guaranteed fleet plan

- There will be no increase to our current career progression model (flow through)

- Without those key elements, we face an uncertain future

Pedro recently applauded our performance and thanked us for our efforts. Make no mistake, that sentiment is not shared by AAG. Rather than reflecting the value we bring to the corporation, company executives are denying our carrier the opportunity to succeed.

We have little control over the business decisions made by AAG. Just over a year ago, we agreed to an 8-year concessionary deal. We were told that if we agreed to that bankruptcy TA, our costs would be competitive within the FFD industry, and we would be re-fleeted with larger aircraft. Rather than live up to that commitment, they demanded more concessions.

We are 2,700 pilots strong in an environment where qualified ATP rated pilots are in short supply. You would think that we would be fairly compensated and provided the tools we need to succeed. Instead, they are working to convince us that the opportunities are better elsewhere. They are also confident they can achieve both the costs and the structure that we found unacceptable at other FFD carriers.
Especially confusing is the fact that company executives have gone to Congress looking for a federal government bailout. They are trying to get congress to roll-back safety initiatives due to, yes you guessed it, a lack of qualified pilots. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle questioned the justification for the poverty level wages of pilots in our segment of the industry.

Lawmakers suggested the issue is simply supply and demand. We find it especially hypocritical that we will be punished for not agreeing to lower the current compensation level even further and locking it in for 10 years.

So what happens now? We are working on reinitializing PBS. You will begin seeing trainers in the crew rooms again, and we will continue the education efforts related to the proposed LOA. Even if you are opposed to PBS, I encourage you to pay close attention to the details. If we choose to continue with our current bidding process, the company will be looking to take an $8.6 million bite out of our paychecks. This will fit nicely into their plan to punish us for refusing their demands. Let's make sure we understand all the pros and cons of PBS before voting on it.

We didn’t choose to be here. The company chose to put us in this position. You have made it clear that you are committed to the success of our carrier. Your MEC is committed to finding an agreement that we can support and achieving that success.

Please stay informed and fly safe.

Bill Sprague
Chairman, ENY MEC


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