Tag Archives: Teamsters

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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Teamsters file a lawsuit against Republic Airways, Republic responds

Teamsters Local 357 has filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways Holidays (Indianapolis) charging the company has unilaterally changed the working conditions for its pilots regarding “open time” flying. Here is the full statement:

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On July 9, Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana, filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways for unilaterally changing pilots’ working conditions regarding “open time” flying without first agreeing with the union about those changes. More than 2,200 Republic pilots are members of Local 357 and have been seeking a fair contract from the company since 2007.

The lawsuit asserts that the company’s changes are unlawful alterations in the status quo and that they took place even while the items changed were the subject of ongoing bargaining between Local 357 and Republic. The purpose of the lawsuit is to compel Republic’s compliance with its lawful duties under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal law which governs labor relations in the airline industry.

To uphold the principle that Republic can only make changes to the pilots’ agreement through the bargaining process, Local 357 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis (case number: 1:15-cv-01066-WTL-MJD) seeking injunctive relief, declaratory judgment and other appropriate relief against the company’s unlawful changes in the status quo of pilot contractual rates of pay, rules and working conditions.

“Republic has had eight years to come to an agreement. The pilots are seeking a fair contract that spells out pay, benefits and working conditions, so that the company can’t give something and take it back at their whim. That’s what these hardworking, skilled pilots deserve now—plain and simple,” said Jim Clark, President of Local 357.

Pending the outcome of this lawsuit, the pilots will maintain their normal practice with regard to flying.

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has responded to the lawsuit:

Republic Airways Holdings logo

On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357, representing Republic’s pilots, filed suit against the Company alleging that the Company unilaterally increased compensation for pilots and new hires in violation of the Railway Labor Act. We believe the suit is completely without merit, and the Company will take appropriate steps to respond. The specific allegations made by IBT Local 357 are incomplete and factually incorrect.

The IBT and the Company are currently in the middle of negotiations supervised by the National Mediation Board for an amended collective bargaining agreement.

The Company stands ready with its current proposal to make a significant investment in our pilots, which is not only fair and equitable, but would place our pilots ahead of their peers in the regional airline industry. This lawsuit is nothing more than an improper tactic by IBT Local 357 to distract our employees and pressure the Company with respect to the negotiations process.

Top Copyright Photo: Formerly operated for Frontier Airlines (2nd), Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N163HQ (msn 19000255) is painted in the Republic Airways house livery, but it is operated by Republic Airlines (2nd). The regional jet lines up for the runway at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Republic Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

United Airlines maintenance workers warn shareholders of problems at the airline

United Airlines‘ (Chicago) maintenance workers, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has issued this statement:

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United Airlines aviation maintenance technicians and related support personnel rallied outside the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Chicago today to warn investors and customers of problems at the airline.

More than 9,000 Teamster aviation maintenance workers are seeking a fair collective bargaining agreement. The workers’ last contract became amendable in January 2013.

The maintenance workers, who are critical to the airline’s operations, are losing patience as the company drags its feet on reaching a fair collective bargaining agreement five years after the United-Continental merger announcement.

“United-Continental workers, shareholders and customers have been loyal through tough times. They have shouldered the burden of myriad problems—including integration and customer service issues—that have taken a toll on United’s earnings and reputation,” said David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “The company appears willing to risk United’s turnaround by provoking a labor dispute with its aircraft maintenance technicians and related workers. And the timing couldn’t be worse.”

United Airlines came in last among traditional carriers in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey released in May.

“As employees and shareholders of this company, we have a long-term interest in the success of the airline and it’s time for management to do the right thing and offer us a well-deserved, industry-leading contract,” said John Laurin, a 29-year United Airlines maintenance technician.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N66828 (msn 44580) arrives in Las Vegas.

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Air Canada and the Teamsters reach agreement for a new U.S. employee contract

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it has received confirmation from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) representing the airline’s U.S.-based workforce that a new collective agreement reached February 4, 2015 has been ratified. The new agreement is in effect until June 30, 2019.

The IBT represents approximately 650 Air Canada airport, cargo and call centre employees based in the United States.

This agreement with the IBT follows the conclusion in February 2015 of a new agreement with UNITE representing Air Canada’s U.K. employees until 2019, and the conclusion in October 2014 of a new agreement with ACPA representing Air Canada’s pilots on collective agreement terms for ten years.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRP (msn 122) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

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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).

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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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.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: