SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines pilots have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a future strike if present contract negotiations with administration and federal mediation efforts fail.
The Air Line Pilots Association mentioned Wednesday that just about 96% of its members solid mail-in votes and that 99% of these approved the union’s leaders to name a strike if obligatory and when permitted after a chronic course of managed by the National Mediation Board, the Seattle Times reported.
Following an informational picket in April by 1,500 off-duty pilots, the vote might enhance stress on Alaska Airlines administration to come back to a contract settlement. The union has been stalled for years attempting to barter a contract that addresses work guidelines, scheduling flexibility and profession safety.
In a memo to the pilots, Capt. Will McQuillen, council chairperson of the pilots affiliation’s Alaska unit, mentioned the vote supplies union negotiators “an important tool to help achieve your goals.”
He mentioned it additionally sends “a clear message that you are unwilling to fall further behind your peers” at different main airways.
After a administration request, the pilots’ union and firm officers are assembly once more this week. The union informed its members it’s going to report back to them Friday on the end result of these talks.
A strike, nonetheless, can not occur quickly.
Federal laws governing nationwide transportation staff mandates that earlier than they will strike, the National Mediation Board should resolve that further mediation efforts wouldn’t be productive and should provide a chance to resolve the contract by way of arbitration. That might take months.
If both facet declines the arbitration, an additional 30-day “cooling off” interval is required earlier than strike motion.
A spate of Alaska Airlines flight cancellations over the previous two months weren’t due to labor motion by the pilots however have been attributable to a common pilot scarcity.
Alaska’s administration misjudged what number of newly employed pilots would graduate from its coaching faculty this spring. The airline reduce its flight schedule in response and mentioned the scenario ought to considerably enhance in June.