Pilots protest Continental-United merger

EMILY ANNE EPSTEIN/METRO

They’re not the usual long-haired protesters spotted in Lower Manhattan these days. Yesterday, hundreds of clean-cut airplane pilots — sporting pressed suits, polished hats and pilot wings — marched in front of the New York Stock Exchange, saying the merger of Continental and United airlines left them out in the cold.

Captain Jay Pierce, a Continental pilot for 23 years, said pilots are upset their contracts are still not finalized one year after the merger. Pilots are asking for better pay, he said, and want management to address issues such as not getting enough rest in between flights. Instead, he said, management’s focus has been on minor details.

“We were seeing a lot of attention paid to painting airplanes,” he said, “and cute cocktail napkins.”

Pilots from both airlines, as well as Delta, gathered on Broad Street. Some held signs that read “What’s a pilot worth?” depicting an image of the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.
 


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