Friday, September 21, 2007

AirTran pilots reject contract

AirTran Airways logoPilots at AirTran Airways have voted to reject a tentative labor agreement reached last month. The Reuters news agency reported that the pilots, represented by the National pilots Association, voted 788 to 496 against the contract.

An article in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the pilots' decision noted that nearly 90% of the union's roughly 1,500 members had voted. At issue, in addition to pay, were scheduling and other work rules in the proposed contract.
The result sends the airline and its union back to the drawing board after more than two years of negotiating. The National Mediation Board, which stepped into the contentious talks more than a year ago, has put any further talks on hold until after Jan. 1, the union said in a statement.

"We're disappointed that they've rejected this deal that represents more than two and a half years of work and negotiation," said AirTran spokesman Dave Hirschman. He said the airline thought it had "addressed the outstanding issues" that concerned the pilots union when it recently agreed to a modified proposal.
Adding to the tumult, AirTran pilots voted two weeks ago to recall their union's president and vice president, leaving the four remaining members of the board to run the union until new elections can be held.