Release #: HAL 16.03
Date: April 25, 2016

Hawaiian Pilots Open Strike Authorization Vote As Airline Reports Record 1Q Income

HONOLULU—More than 630 Hawaiian Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), began voting today on whether to authorize their leadership to conduct a strike if they cannot reach a contract agreement with Hawaiian Airlines management, and the National Mediation Board (NMB) releases them to self-help.

The voting began less than a week after the airline reported record income for the first quarter of 2016. Hawaiian’s net income leaped to $51 million for the quarter, more than doubling its 2015 1Q results. The airline’s stock price also hit a record $50 per share earlier in April and has soared more than 500 percent since pilots ratified their last contract in 2010.

“We are forced to take this vote because our management has been slow to include the pilots in the rewards from Hawaiian’s incredible success,” said Capt. Hoon Lee, chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council.

The strike authorization ballot opened April 25 and will close on May 17, the day before the airline’s annual shareholders meeting in Honolulu.

“Based on their present behavior at the bargaining table, it’s clear that senior management at Hawaiian does not value their employees. Our total compensation is as much as 45 percent below our peers, and we continue to fall further behind,” Lee said. “We don’t want to strike, but our patience is at an end. We will do whatever is legally allowable to gain a market-rate contract.”

Before any strike could take place, the NMB would have to release the two sides from mediation, and then offer binding arbitration. If either party rejects arbitration, a 30-day cooling-off period would commence, after which both parties could exercise self-help—a strike by the union or a lockout by the company.

The Hawaiian pilots’ contract became amendable on September 14, 2015, and the two sides have been in negotiations for almost a year. The parties will continue meetings with an NMB mediator the week of May 10.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 52,000 pilots at 30 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.

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CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org