Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spirit Airlines pilots vote to authorize strike

Spirit Airlines A319The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents the pilots at Spirit Airlines, announced that they have been authorized by the pilots to call for a lawful withdrawal of services if stalled negotiations do not result in a new contract. Translation: a strike has been authorized.

ALPA says:
Of the nearly 95% of the eligible pilots who responded to the ballot, 98% voted in support of a withdrawal of services, if required. This authorization comes after two and a half years of fruitless negotiations and repeated contract violations by the company. The National Mediation Board (NMB) could release both sides into economic self-help after the expiration of a 30-day cooling-off period if it concludes that further mediated negotiations will not produce an agreement, at which point a strike could ensue.
“When we started negotiating, this pilot group was certain that the process would result in a fair contract,” said Capt. Sean Creed, chairman of the Spirit pilots union. “However, management’s refusal to abide by our current contract, followed by a demand for $5.3 million in concessions while announcing expansion plans, has destroyed this confidence and forged the unity demonstrated by this vote.”

“If this company put even half as much effort into trying to negotiate a fair agreement for its pilots as it did in developing crude advertising, we would have a new contract,” Capt. Creed continued. “This vote clearly shows that this pilot group is completely fed up with this approach and is now prepared to do whatever it takes to get the fair contract we deserve.”

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