FedEx Express (Memphis) and its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The tentative agreement is subject to a final ratification vote of its members. ALPA issued this statement:
On Wednesday, August 19, FedEx pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), reached a tentative agreement (TA) with FedEx management on an amended collective bargaining agreement. The parties have been actively negotiating since 2011. Discussions started in 2011 under a special interim discussions agreement that had originally been made by both parties to assist in narrowing the field of open items in order to conclude formal bargaining in a timely manner. Formal bargaining began in January 2013 when Section 6 openers were exchanged with management. On October 31, 2014, FedEx management filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), and negotiations have been conducted under NMB guidance.
The new agreement is subject to review and finalization of contract language. Terms of the tentative agreement are not being released, as they first must be reviewed and approved by the FedEx ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC). If approved by the FedEx MEC leadership, the TA will be subject to a ratification vote of over 4,000 FedEx pilots. If ratified, the contract would become amendable in 2021.
Copyright Photo: Paul Ferry/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-236 (F) N915FD (msn 24120) departs from Luton Airport near London.
Virgin America‘s (San Francisco) pilots have voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
ALPA issued this statement:
The National Mediation Board (NMB) has announced that the pilots at Virgin America voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
Of the 95.7 percent of eligible pilots who voted, 75.3 percent voted in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union, showing their commitment to collective representation.
“ALPA is very pleased to welcome our colleagues at Virgin America,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president. “Today, our union is stronger. ALPA is poised to ensure that Virgin America pilots will gain a stronger voice for their future and, together, we will continue to advance our profession.”
Photo Above: ALPA.
The focus for Virgin America pilots now shifts to the membership drive and establishing pilot representatives in each base, and starting the work to negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N528VA (msn 3445) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), representing the pilots of JetBlue Airways (New York) today issued this statement:
The pilots of JetBlue Airways, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today sent official notice to company management requesting to open contract negotiations under the federal Railway Labor Act. The notice marks the first labor negotiations in the history of JetBlue from any segment of its workforce. Currently, JetBlue pilots are the only unionized workforce at the airline.
“Our negotiators have worked hard to prepare for this day and look forward to successful negotiations for a first contract,” said Capt. Jim Bigham, chairman of the JetBlue pilots’ Master Executive Council. “While we see the bargaining process as an opportunity to make positive changes for our pilots, we hold no illusions that this will be an easy process. However, while attaining our first labor agreement will require intense focus and commitment, we also will continue to work with management to ensure we contribute positively to JetBlue’s success.
“I’m optimistic about the group’s opportunities for success. We will work hard and efficiently, but we will also be careful and take the time necessary to assure that the final product is done right. All pilots have a right to expect this approach, and it will govern everything we do moving forward.”
The Association’s request to begin negotiations pursuant to the Railway Labor Act was sent by ALPA President Tim Canoll. Negotiations are scheduled to begin on March 31, 2015, in New York. Future negotiations will alternate between New York and Washington.
“We hope the attitude and atmosphere of cooperation and professionalism will prevail as we work to secure long overdue improvements to our existing working conditions,” said Bigham.
In April 2014, an overwhelming majority of JetBlue pilots voted to join ALPA in hopes of gaining a meaningful voice in their future and the certainty of a collective bargaining agreement. Contract negotiations in the airline industry are governed by the Railway Labor Act—the federal statute that sets the rules for collective bargaining, representation, and grievance processing in the airline and railroad industries.
Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N238JB (msn 19000039) arrives at New York’s JFK International Airport (JFK).
Jazz Aviation LP (Air Canada Express) (Halifax), a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc., has announced that its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have ratified their tentative agreement reached on January 13, 2015. The term of this agreement is 11 years expiring on December 31, 2025.
ALPA represents approximately 1380 pilots employed at Jazz. The term of the pilot agreement is consistent with the 11 year term of Chorus’ proposed amended capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada (that remains subject to the completion of certain terms and conditions), and therefore provides long-term labor stability. The new collective agreement also provides for productivity enhancements, cost control measures and incentives to grow at competitive rates.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada Express-Jazz Aviation’s Bombardier DHC-8-102 C-FJMG (msn 255) is pictured parked at the gate at Toronto-Pearson International Airport.
Envoy Air (American Eagle) (subsidiary of American Airlines Group) (Dallas/Fort Worth) will continue to grow. The pilots, represented by ALPA, have approved the tentative agreement hatched out between the company management and ALPA (MEC) representing the pilots. Envoy issued this statement today:
Pilots at Envoy Air Inc., an American Airlines Group wholly owned regional carrier, have voted to ratify a Tentative Agreement reached between the carrier and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). This agreement was ratified by a vote among Envoy’s more than 2,400 pilots and allows Envoy to now offer all existing and future pilots a direct career progression to American Airlines, the world’s largest mainline carrier. In addition, it provides Envoy with a firm fleet commitment of 40 new fuel-efficient 76-seat Embraer ERJ 175 (E175) aircraft and the opportunity to operate up to 90 more E175s, if American exercises those options.
“We are very pleased our pilots voted to ratify the Tentative Agreement that offers them new, large and modern aircraft to fly and faster career advancement at both Envoy and American Airlines,” said Envoy’s president and CEO, Pedro Fabregas. “This agreement also lays the foundation for Envoy to become a stronger and more successful company for all of our more than 14,000 employees. My sincere thanks to Envoy ALPA and its Master Executive Council (MEC), as well as ALPA president Lee Moak, ALPA executive administrator Tim Canoll and MEC chairman Sam Pool for their hard work and dedication to reach this agreement.”
According to ALPA, Envoy Air pilots completed voting on the proposed changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Of the 91.57% of eligible Envoy pilots who voted, 75% voted to accept these changes.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. The Embraer ERJ 145 fleet is likely to continue to shrink as the larger and newer Embraer ERJ 175s join the Envoy fleet. ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N659AE (msn 145762) arrives at the Miami hub.
FedEx Express (Memphis), a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation (Memphis), has formally requested assistance from the National Mediation Board (NMB) to expedite its ongoing pilot negotiations. The NMB is the U.S. governmental agency that oversees labor agreements for entities covered by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), such as airlines, railroads and express companies.
The company and its pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have been engaged in contract talks for more than a year. The current contract became amendable on February 25, 2013 and the two sides reached a tentative agreement on 20 of the 31 contract sections in September 2014.
Under the RLA, the terms and conditions of the existing contract between the company and ALPA do not expire until the full multi-step RLA process is exhausted. In the meantime, the progression of negotiations into the mediation stage has no impact on company operations or its ability to provide highly reliable service to customers.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N862FD (msn 37733) arrives on a cold day at Anchorage.
FedEx Express‘ (Memphis) 4,200 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing on Tuesday, September 23, in three cities to show, according to the union, “their continuing frustration with ongoing contract negotiations and their resolute support of their Negotiating Committee.”
Informational picketing will take place on Tuesday, September 23, at the following locations and times (all times are local):
Outside FedEx sorting facility at Ted Stevens
Anchorage Int’l Airport, corner of Postmark
Drive and Rockwell Avenue
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Maguire Gardens (South Flower Street and
West 5th Street)
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Outside FedEx Air Operations Center (3131
Noon to 12:30 p.m.
According to the union, “FedEx Express and its pilot group came to a historic collective bargaining agreement in 2011. What made this agreement historic was the commitment to continue bargaining so as to foster a more efficient negotiating climate when formal negotiations commenced in 2013 despite having achieved a contract. “There was a real opportunity to fix some difficult problems with well-developed long-term solutions and without the pressure that comes with traditional bargaining. Unfortunately, management chose a different route,” said Captain Scott Stratton, chairman of the ALPA FedEx Master Executive Council. “We should have had a new contract by now, but instead we have spent too much time mired in a ‘traditional’ bargaining situation that does not promote good labor-management relations. In spite of management’s actions, the pilots remain committed to achieving a responsible negotiated agreement that recognizes our contributions to FedEx’s remarkable profitability.”
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10F (DC-10-10F) N554FE (msn 46708) lands at Raleigh/Durham.
Piedmont Airlines’ (2nd) (US Airways Express and American Eagle) (Salisbury, MD) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), voted to ratify amendments to their current agreement with the company. With 86 percent of the pilot group participating in the ballot, 77 percent of those pilots voted to approve the modifications to their current contract, which includes plans to refleet the airline as well as guaranteed opportunities for Piedmont pilots with the airline’s parent company, American Airlines.
“With much of our fleet of Dash 8s nearing replacement age, we needed to look long term as to what was best for the pilots on the property now, and what would provide career options for pilots just joining Piedmont,” said Capt. Bruce Freedman, chairman of the Piedmont unit of ALPA.
Under the modified agreement, Piedmont pilots can now take advantage of a seniority-based flow-through procedure to fly at American Airlines, and pilots have secured flying at Piedmont by obtaining minimum fleet commitments. In exchange, Piedmont pilots agreed to increase their share of medical premium payments and, over time, revise pay scales to reflect more commonly used industry approaches.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The Bombardier DHC-8 turboprop fleet is gradually being repainted. However the Dash 8s will need to be replaced and this new agreement paves the way for the company to fly American Eagle jets in the future. Bombardier DHC-8-314 N329EN (msn 290) departs from the Charlotte hub.
Envoy Air’s (American Eagle) (Dallas/Fort Worth) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), failed to reach a new agreement with the American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) for a new contract. The group had approached the union about reopening discussions on a new contract. Discussions broke down on August 21. According to the union in a message to its members by Bill Sprague, “The effort began with informal discussions to identify and attempt to resolve the areas of the failed TA that were unacceptable to our group. We focused on finding solutions to guarantee that the company would re-fleet our carrier while respecting the value we provide as professionals. Identifying the core issues was easy. Finding mutually acceptable solutions was extremely difficult. The MEC met three times and spent countless hours on conference calls to eventually arrive at a proposal that satisfied those requirements.
On Wednesday, company executives rejected that proposal. Their stated intent is to continue seeking lower feed costs at other Fee for Departure carriers, as they did with Compass.”
The union chairman continued, “The state of our current daily operation shows an inability to attract a sufficient number of recruits, but it also shows that many Envoy pilots are moving onwards and upwards in their aviation careers. In their efforts to operate an airline of our size while lacking the necessary tools to safely do so, the company has found many ways to violate the current collective bargaining agreement. The MEC and leadership are dedicated to protecting and defending the contract. Our contract remains in place. We will enforce it and continue to pursue every opportunity to improve it.
The pilots of Envoy have made it clear: now is time to make this airline an attractive place to work and that responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of upper management. This action is essential to ensure the long-term success of our company.”
Envoy Air currently operates more than the 220 aircraft on about 1,300 daily flights to more than 170 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The company’s more than 14,000 employees provide regional flight service to American Airlines under the American Eagle brand and livery as well as ground handling services for approximately 15 airlines, including American.
Envoy Air is headquartered in North Texas with hubs in New York, Chicago, Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. The company was founded in 1998 as American Eagle Airlines, Inc. following the merger of several smaller regional carriers to create one the largest regional airlines in the world. On April 15, 2014 the company changed its name to Envoy Air to distinguish the company for the American Eagle brand, under which several carriers operate regional flight service for American.
American Airlines Group is likely to continue to assign new aircraft to other American Eagle carriers as Envoy Air reduces in size unless the two parties resolve their differences.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N668HH (msn 145785) prepares to touch down at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Dreamjet (Paris) has filed an application with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate all-business Boeing 757-200 flights from Paris to New York (the airports were not specified). Dreamjet still needs the final approvals to fly as an airline from the French government. The new paper airline is proposing to start trans-Atlantic operations as early as June if it can get the approvals to fly. However the application has now been grouped with the controversial application of Norwegian Air International of Ireland (Norwegian Air Shuttle).
Frantz Yvelin, founder of the previous all-business L’Avion (which was sold to British Airways), has been rumored as the co-founder of this new venture.
ALPA issued this statement on the application of Dreamjet and Norwegian Air International:
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to make clear the stark contrast between Dreamjet’s garden variety application for a DOT foreign air carrier permit and Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for authority to operate a business model that will put the livelihood of thousands of U.S. airline workers at risk.
“In contrast, Norwegian Air International’s application is based on an unacceptable business model that should be rejected.”
ALPA’s filing detailed the difference in a reply to NAI’s answer to Dreamjet’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.
“Dreamjet’s application could not be more different from Norwegian Air International’s effort to cheat the system by avoiding Norwegian labor law,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.
In a reply filed jointly with the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and the European Cockpit Association, ALPA states that NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit is a “far cry from that presented to the Department by Dreamjet and by the many other unopposed applications that have been presented to the Department by European carriers following implementation of the Air Transport Agreement.”
With operations centered in Norway, NAI is attempting to operate its international long-haul flights as an Irish airline expressly to avoid Norwegian employment laws. It appears that NAI is using flight crews hired through a Singapore employment company on individual contracts with compensation well below that of its Norway-based employees.
“ALPA has a long history of championing a fair marketplace in which airlines compete on merit, schedule, customer service, and the routes they fly,” continued Moak. “We are not afraid of competition. U.S. airlines and their workers are eager for the opportunity to go head to head with any airline that competes fairly by the rules governing the global marketplace.”
This week, ALPA launched Save Our Skies (SOS), a multiplatform campaign designed to mobilize the American public to voice their collective opposition to actions that are harmful to U.S. airline industry workers’ jobs, including specifically NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.
More than 30,000 people have signed the #denyNAI petition urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to reject the NAI scheme and stand up for U.S. airline workers, and more than 100 members of Congress have voiced concern or outright opposition to NAI’s DOT application.
“ALPA does not oppose Dreamjet’s application, just as we have not opposed the many other European airline applications under the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement,” said Capt. Moak. “In contrast, Norwegian Air International’s application is based on an unacceptable business model that should be rejected.”
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. L’Avion launched business class flights on January 3, 2007 between Paris (Orly) and Newark using two Boeing 757-200s. However on July 2, 2008 the owners agreed to sell L’Avion in a £54 million deal with British Airways. BA merged L’Avion into its OpenSkies operation on April 4, 2009. L’Avion’s Boeing 757-230 F-HAVN (msn 25140) completes its final approach into Frankfurt in this striking livery.