Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Chairman Marty Davis has threatened to downsize and eventually shut down the airline if a new agreement with the pilots cannot be reached. In a letter sent to the pilots this past week, the owner threatened this drastic course of action. The pilots are locked in negotiations with management on a new contract. Davis has stated the latest management offer is the “last and best offer” according to this report by the Duluth News Tribune. The National Mediation Board (NMB) has scheduled another negotiating session in late May.
Captain Brian Roseen, Chairman of the Sun Country Master Executive Council, Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), representing the pilots, issued this response to the threat:
“The Sun Country Master Executive Council (SCA MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, the collective bargaining representative of SCA pilots, has received media inquiries related to reports about a communication from SCA management threatening a wind down of Sun Country Airlines.
“Yesterday, the SCA MEC received a letter from Mr. Marty Davis, Chairman and owner of Sun Country. Mr. Davis’ letter asserts that after five years of negotiations, the first comprehensive economic proposal presented by the company is also its ‘last, best and final’ proposal. In essence, it’s a take-it or leave-it offer. He claims that he has begun the process of downsizing the airline, although we have seen no evidence of this. In the interest of full disclosure to our members, we forwarded Mr. Davis’ communication to the pilot group last night.
“Mediation required under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act is now being conducted by the National Mediation Board in Washington, DC. The Association has made clear its willingness to meet anytime and anywhere to continue mediation. The NMB has tentatively set May 27-29 in Washington, DC as the scheduled next date for meetings. ALPA believes the Company was unwilling to meet sooner. At that meeting, ALPA will provide a counter-proposal to the Company’s offer that seeks to narrow the remaining gaps between the parties’ positions.
“We are disappointed Mr. Davis has chosen to respond to us with the threat of a shutdown even as the Association is prepared to present its counter-proposal. We appreciate the NMB’s tireless efforts to conduct mediation, and reiterate that our pilots are determined to rise above their current status as the lowest-paid B-737 scheduled service pilots in the country.
“Sun Country pilots intend to show up for work tomorrow and continue to do our jobs the way we always have — safely, professionally and courteously. The Association looks forward to opportunities later this month to continue our good-faith efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement that reflects established pay and benefit patterns, and trusts that Company executives will participate with the same intention.”
In February CEO Stan Gadek, who lead the airline in its last recovery, abruptly resigned and left the company.
Read the full report from the Duluth News Tribune: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo Below: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-73V N711SY (msn 30245) lands in Las Vegas.