Tag Archives: pilots

Kalitta Air to add two Boeing 767-300 freighters as the pilots authorized a strike

Kalitta Air logo

Kalitta Air (2nd) (Ypsilanti) is planning to add two Boeing 767-300F freighters according to Cargo Facts. The company has been a Boeing 747 operator. However this decision may be impacted by a strike vote by its pilots.

On December 9 the International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued this statement:

Pilots employed by Kalitta Air, LLC, have voted overwhelmingly, 213-7, to authorize a strike against the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based cargo airline.

Kalitta Air operates a fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft in support of the global network of DHL Express, a division of the German logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL. Ninety-two percent of eligible pilots voted in the referendum. Ninety-seven percent of voting pilots voted to authorize a strike. The pilot group is represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division, Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224.

“The pilots of Kalitta Air have sent a strong message to the airline’s management and their customers, including DHL, and potential customers,” said Scott Nelson, the elected chairman of the APA Teamsters Local 1224 Kalitta Air Executive Council. “Our members are prepared to strike over management delay tactics, violations of federal law, mistreatment of pilots and their continuing refusal to agree to a significantly-improved labor contract.”

Negotiations between the union and management started in October 2010. The company delayed responding to union wage and benefit proposals for more than two-and-half years. On Oct. 30, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued an injunction against the carrier for violating federal labor laws. Union communications have complained about persistent unprofessional conduct by managers and expressed alarm over the number of pilots that are considering leaving Kalitta Air for other airlines.

ABX Air, Inc., Atlas Air, Inc. and Southern Air, Inc. also perform flight operations in support of the DHL Express global network. Following the announcement of the strike authorization vote, union leadership at those carriers pledged to support the Kalitta pilots in the event of a strike.

“Gone are the days when pilots viewed one another as competitors in a race to the bottom that benefits our employers at the expense of our own paychecks and profession,” said Daniel C. Wells, president of APA Teamsters Local 1224. “Carriers like Kalitta need to make major improvements to pilot pay, benefits and working conditions if they are to retain and attract quality pilots and ultimately survive the worsening pilot shortage. This is true for all of the carriers where Local 1224 represents pilots. Status quo violations and uncompetitive pay and benefits will produce strikes and disruptions of customer networks, not labor peace and stability.”

Contract negotiations are currently subject to mediation efforts by the National Mediation Board, the federal agency that oversees labor relations in the airline and railroad industries.

“Kalitta pilots want to be treated with professional respect and work under a labor contract that is comparable to those of our peers at other airlines,” Nelson said. “Unfortunately, management seems stuck in the past and continues to insist on substandard terms and conditions of employment as a better course of action. They need to change course before it’s too late.”

The union has several initiatives planned for early 2016 aimed at publicizing the escalating labor dispute with Kalitta Air.

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Allegiant dismisses claims of an impasse in the on-going pilot negotiations

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has issued this statement in reference to the on-going pilot negotiations for a new contract:

Allegiant logo-3

Allegiant issued a statement that dismantles the recent request from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1224 for the National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare an impasse in pilot contract negotiations, and highlights the significant progress that has been made towards a first contract for Allegiant’s pilots.

In response to the union’s request, Allegiant COO Steve Harfst said in a letter to all company employees that the company wants to reach a deal with the union that provides Allegiant pilots with significantly higher wages, improved retirement plans, a union-sponsored health plan, and better scheduling rules. He noted that “the IBT’s request ignores the reality that significant progress is being made in these negotiations. Fourteen of 26 sections have been agreed to, and proposals for the remaining 12 sections are being actively negotiated. In fact, nine sections of the proposed contract have been agreed to just since the start of 2015, which is the clearest evidence that the parties are moving towards an agreement.”

The full text of Mr. Harfst’s letter to employees follows.

October 14, 2015

Dear Allegiant Team Members:

Earlier today, the National Mediation Board (NMB) received a letter from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) asking the NMB to declare an impasse in the pilot contract negotiations with Allegiant. I wanted to provide you with Allegiant’s perspective on this recent development.

The IBT’s request ignores the reality that significant progress is being made in these negotiations. Fourteen of 26 sections have been agreed to, and proposals for the remaining 12 sections are being actively negotiated. In fact, nine sections of the proposed contract have been agreed to just since the start of 2015, which is the clearest evidence that the parties are moving towards an agreement.

Allegiant wants to reach an agreement with its pilots as soon as possible. We are moving forward at the bargaining table and we are nowhere near impasse. This request by the Teamsters is simply their latest scheme­-without-substance, which is aimed at putting economic negotiating pressure on Allegiant. We expect this ploy by the IBT to fail — just as it did the last time they attempted this ploy with the NMB in January.

Negotiations are never easy, particularly with a first contract, where both parties are effectively starting from scratch to reach a collective bargaining agreement. But with a willing partner, we can reach an agreement that is fair and recognizes the significant contribution of our pilots to Allegiant’s success. Over the last few months, the company has made numerous proposals to the union that include significantly higher wages, improved retirement plans, a union-sponsored health plan, and better scheduling rules for the pilots.

The recent exchange of proposals demonstrates our commitment to our pilots and to the negotiations process. The parties are far from reaching an impasse. On the contrary, negotiations had gained momentum until the union decided it wouldn’t move anymore in the hopes of gaining a release from mediation. In fact, more progress has been made over the past several months than in almost three years of negotiations.

We urge the IBT to continue negotiating in good faith. The NMB has already informed us of its intention to hold the next bargaining session scheduled as planned for October 26-27.

We believe that the sooner both sides can reach an agreement, the sooner we can capitalize on the opportunities before us.

Sincerely,

Steve Harfst

Chief Operating Officer

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N902NV (msn 26964) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

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Allegiant starts g4pilots.com website for the ongoing pilot negotiations

Allegiant Air (Allegiant Travel Company) (Las Vegas) has issued this statement and letter to its employees:

Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT) today (September 29) launched a new website, g4pilots.com to provide up-to-date information about ongoing negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the union representing the company’s pilots. The site provides information about the progress of the negotiations, background on Allegiant’s operations and answers to frequently asked questions for pilots, employees and the public. The site will be continuously updated by the Company with developments in the negotiation process. Additionally, the site offers a pay calculator function, allowing pilots and others to determine future pilot pay rates if Allegiant’s current proposal is accepted by the IBT.

Meanwhile the COO issued this employee letter to the pilots:

Allegiant logo-3

To Allegiant Pilots:

Upon the conclusion of last week’s negotiating session, I would like to update you on the progress that we are making in order to reach a contract agreement for you with Local 1224.

Over the past several months, Allegiant has worked hard with representatives of Local 1224 to find areas of cooperation and compromise. Both sides have yielded from previously held positions in order to find an equitable deal for you and your families; one that recognizes the valuable contribution that you, our pilots, make towards Allegiant’s success.
Working with the union, we have settled many sections and narrowed our differences in other areas. For example, during our bargaining session in Washington, DC that ended last week, Allegiant and the union continued to make progress in the critical areas of compensation, insurance and retirement.

We remain hopeful for continued progress and cooperation with Local 1224. Our objective remains to reach an agreement with your union as soon as possible so that you can begin to enjoy the benefits of increased compensation along with the confidence and stability of a complete RLA contract. With that in mind, our most recent proposals are designed to deliver you real improvements and benefits. They include:

  • pay proposals that contain higher wages,
  • programs to bolster your retirement savings, and
  • progress in the areas of scheduling and productivity.

We were disappointed the Local 1224 negotiating committee chose not to respond in kind to most of our proposals at our recent session. Despite their signals to the contrary, we hope that they remain committed to making more progress during our next scheduled meetings on October 25-26 in Washington, D.C.

Finally as we work towards a final agreement, we will launch a unique website that we hope will be helpful to you – www.G4Pilots.com. This website will include:

  • timely updates and announcements about negotiations with Local 1224,
  • key facts about Allegiant’s proposals and what they mean for your wages, benefits and job security,
  • important background information about the key issues in the negotiations, and
  • more information about the overall bargaining process.

All of my communications to you about the negotiations with the union will be posted on the website, along with other useful tools and background information. You can also sign-up to receive news and updates when additional information is added to the website.

I will notify you when the website goes live. I hope you find it to be a useful resource.

Respectfully,

Steve

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N864GA (msn 49912) arrives at the Las Vegas base.

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Boeing forecasts rising demand for commercial airline pilots and technicians

Pilots in Simulator; Pilots on flight deck; Female Co-Pilot; Male African-American Pilot; K66420-03

Pilots in Simulator; Pilots on flight deck; Female Co-Pilot; Male African-American Pilot; K66420-03

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has released a new forecast showing continued strong demand for commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians as the world’s airlines add 38,000 airplanes to the global fleet over the next 20 years.

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing’s 2015 Pilot and Technician Outlook projects that between 2015 and 2034, the world will require 558,000 new commercial airline pilots and 609,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians.

“To help address this need, Boeing trained last year a record number of pilots and technicians at 17 training campuses around the globe and has invested in a comprehensive Pilot Development Program to train early stage pilots to become qualified commercial airline pilots,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. “We will continue to increase the amount of training we provide, enabling our customers to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for air travel.”

“The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals will not be solved by one company alone,” Carbary added. “Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions are all stepping up to meet the increasing need to train and certify pilots and technicians.”

Boeing’s 2015 Outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, up more than 4 percent compared to the 2014 Outlook. For maintenance technicians, demand increased approximately 5 percent.

Overall global demand for these skilled resources will be driven by continued economic expansion, resulting in an average requirement for about 28,000 new pilots and more than 30,000 new technicians every year.

The 20-year projected demand for new pilots and technicians by region is:

Asia Pacific – 226,000 pilots and 238,000 technicians
Europe – 95,000 pilots and 101,000 technicians
North America – 95,000 pilots and 113,000 technicians
Latin America – 47,000 pilots and 47,000 technicians
Middle East – 60,000 pilots and 66,000 technicians
Africa – 18,000 pilots and 22,000 technicians
Russia / CIS – 17,000 pilots and 22,000 technicians

The Pilot and Technician Outlook is Boeing’s long-term forecast of the demand for pilots and technicians and its estimate of personnel needed to fly and maintain the tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners expected to be produced over the next 20 years. The forecast is published annually to factor in changing market forces affecting the industry. Boeing shares the outlook with the public to inform airlines, suppliers and the financial community of trends in the industry.

Photo: Boeing.

Allegiant goes to court to prevent a strike by its pilots

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) and its relationship with its pilots, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), seems to be getting worse. Yesterday afternoon the airline went to a local U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to block a threatened strike by its pilots. The unionized pilots see a strike as their last resort in the stalled contract talks that are headed towards arbitration.

The company issued this statement:

Allegiant Air has received a court order, pilots will resume flying.

A court in Las Vegas has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224, which represents the Allegiant pilots.

Allegiant has every reason to believe that the Teamsters will honor the court’s instructions and will not be able to continue with their illegal intention to strike. This order will prevent a threatened pilots’ strike which would have left potentially thousands of travelers with cancelled flights over the Easter holiday weekend. Based on this, all scheduled Allegiant flights are expected to operate normally.

With the threat of an imminent strike over, Allegiant hopes that both parties can now focus on the next federally mediated negotiating session, scheduled for late April.

Previously before Allegiant went to court to get a restraining order, the pilot union issued this statement yesterday:

Veteran pilots at Allegiant Air, the country’s most profitable airline, announced this morning (April 1) that they will not be flying regularly scheduled routes on Thursday, April 2 from the airline’s major hubs across the country, including Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas. The strike comes as Allegiant refuses to reestablish a prior scheduling system and restore other basic benefits that have been illegally rolled back over a two-year period during which the company has posted record-level profits. In January, 98 percent of the company’s pilots, including those on reserve duty, voted to authorize a strike.

“Striking is a last resort, but we cannot continue to stand by a company that flaunts the law by robbing the pilots of legally protected rights and benefits. The company has to restore the status quo that it illegally took from us,” said Tom Pozdro, a pilot based in Las Vegas. “We deeply regret the inconvenience to our passengers and other work groups and encourage them to call Allegiant, asking them to do what is right by honoring its commitment to its pilots and the public by restoring our basic, legally regarded standards, protections and benefits.”

The strike has the potential to ground more than 250 flights from taking off Thursday, impacting over 33,000 customers, including thousands headed to Las Vegas for March Madness Final Four events, Spring Break travelers and others. On Monday, pilots posted an open letter to Allegiant customers alerting them to concerns at the airline, including operational problems that lead to the delays and cancellations that have made Allegiant one of the least popular airlines in the travel industry.

Allegiant Air is the most profitable commercial airline in the U.S. with 48 consecutive profitable quarters. Its executives are among the highest compensated in the industry, with the company CEO – and largest shareholder – taking home tens of millions in shareholder returns in recent years.

“Allegiant is making millions in profits, yet executives refuse to invest in the company’s infrastructure, operations and workforce. The haphazard scheduling system is creating exhaustion and stress for pilots,” said Tom Cox, a pilot based out of Phoenix who has been with Allegiant for over five years. “Pilots at Allegiant want to put our company on the right track for long-term success, and that means reinvesting in its workforce and planes. They can start with complying with the law by reinstating the legally protected work rules and benefits they took from us.”

Read the full report from 8 News Now in Las Vegas: CLICK HERE

Anti-Union Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallegher’s worst nightmare: Read Ted Reed’s excellent story in Forbes: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N217NV (msn 1347) arrives back at the Sanford (near Orlando base).

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Norwegian’s pilots continue to strike as talks fail

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Air Norway) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues to face a strike by its pilots after overnight mediated talks on a new collective agreement failed. The strike today enters the eighth day. The strike by its pilots, represented by the NPU and labor group Parat, will continue indefinitely. As a result Norwegian is canceling today all flights in Norway and Sweden and most flights between the Scandinavian capitals.

Norwegian issued a statement (translated from Norwegian):

“Norwegian has submitted several proposals that provide all the Scandinavian pilots job security, employment guarantee for three years, to keep their good wage conditions and not the least, their ties with the parent company. Therefore it is extremely sad that it was not possible to reach an agreement with Norwegian Pilot Union (NPU) and Parat with the national mediator. The strike continues, unfortunately indefinitely.

Norwegian deeply regrets that the strike will continue and that travelers, employees and others are affected. After many hours of negotiations on Friday night to Saturday, both sides failed to reach a solution. Norwegian wants an end to the strike and has gone a long way economically to end the strike and bring peace to the Group. The company has submitted written guarantees to the NPU on key points that job security, job security, and to become attached to the group.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81D LN-NOR (msn 39412) completes the final approach into beautiful Tenerife Sur (Tenerife South Airport) in the Canary Islands.

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Allegiant Air’s pilots formally request arbitration from the National Mediation Board

Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots have formally asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to arbitrate the contract dispute between the pilots, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and management. The union issued this statement:

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will host a call to update Allegiant Travel Company investors, industry analysts, customers and press regarding the current status of contract negotiations for Allegiant Air pilots, their recent strike authorization vote and the union’s request for a proffer of arbitration from the National Mediation Board.

On behalf of the approximately 500 pilots at Allegiant Air, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and its affiliate, Airline Professionals Association of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 (collectively, the “IBT”) filed a request on Friday afternoon, January 23, asking the National Mediation Board to make a proffer of arbitration. The request follows over two-and-a-half years of negotiations and mediation that have yet to result in a contract.

“Allegiant Air pilots have propelled the company to significant growth and prosperity, despite challenging operating conditions and breakdowns at the company. Yet, management continues to show its contempt for its operational employees by negotiating in bad faith,” said Daniel Wells, president of APA Teamsters Local 1224. “Allegiant Air pilots have had enough.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N864GA (msn 49912) arrives back at the Las Vegas base painted in the old 2003 livery.

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