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11.10.05 – An Open Letter To Congress

Protecting Jobs in the Workplace

APFA – APA – TWU LOCALS 513 – 541 – 542 – 565 – 567


Contact: Lori Bassani (APFA) 817.540.0108 x8107

Gregg Overman (APA) 817.302.2250

Denny Breslin (APA) 817.302.2350

Mark Nelson (TWU) 817.481.5533 x214


Today, the working men and women of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants(APFA), and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Locals 513, 541, 542, 565, 567, representing more than 50,000 American Airlines employees, released the following letter to members of the United States Congress:


An Open Letter To Congress
From The Labor Leaders Of American Airlines

November 10, 2005

The Presidents of the Allied Pilots Association, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and the Transport Worker’s Union Locals 513, 541, 542, 565, 567, representing more than 50,000 employees of American Airlines strongly support main-taining the Wright Amendment.

In its eagerness to repeal the Wright Amendment, Southwest Airlines has concentrated on telling the public about the “free-dom to fly” and lower airfares. These claims are just not true. What is true is that it makes absolutely no economic sense to sup-port two major airports in one metropolitan area, a move that would certainly raise air traffic safety concerns, environmental concerns, and open the door for dueling airports in additional U.S. cities.

The 1979 Wright Amendment was a compromise designed by then-Congressman Jim Wright to end the recurring bitter legal fights over Southwest operations at Dallas Love Field. Southwest was restricted to flying intrastate and flights to four contigu-ous states under the Wright Amendment. The fact that all other airlines agreed to fly and compete from DFW Airport and pay their share of the infrastructure cost of a major, world-class airport must not be minimized. Now Southwest wants to change the rules again to benefit only themselves at the expense of this long-standing agreement.

Southwest claims the Wright Amendment is unfair. What is unfair to American, its employees, and the municipalities that expect Southwest to live by its agreement, is their disingenuous public notion that it somehow restricts competition. Southwest has been offered millions of dollars in incentives to operate unrestricted out of DFW Airport. What would be incredibly unfair is to change this agreement after the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the DFW Airport, and all airlines that serve DFW have invested billions of dollars under the belief that the law would remain in effect.

The net effect of repealing the Wright Amendment would be devastating to the marketplace. It would significantly reduce pas-senger connection opportunities through North Texas to international destinations, resulting in fewer international flights out of DFW airport. If American and other airlines are forced to move assets to compete with Southwest out of Love Field, it will dilute revenue, increase noise, increase airspace congestion, strain the assets of American, and put hundreds of jobs at risk. Members from all three labor unions at American Airlines will be in attendance for the senate hearing on November 10 in a show of support for American’s position on this public policy.

On behalf of our company and the more than 50,000 members that we collectively represent, we urge you to hold Southwest to its commitment to the Wright Amendment. To do otherwise would be economically irresponsible and damaging to the United States airline network system.

In the spirit of protecting communities and jobs, we are asking for your support of the Wright Amendment.


Tommie L. Hutto-Blake, President APFA

Ralph Hunter, President APA

Association of Professional Flight Attendants

Allied Pilots Association

Transport Workers Union Local Presidents:

Mark Nelson, President TWU Air Transport Local 513


John Plowman, President TWU Air Transport Local 542

Curtis Gentry, President TWU Air Transport Local 541


Keith Stewart, President TWU Air Transport Local 565

Gary Peterson, President TWU Air Transport Local 567


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