Aloha Pilots Send Strong Message to Management
More than 100 Aloha Airlines pilots picketed outside their company headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 27 to protest management’s request to terminate pilot contracts and pension plans. A bankruptcy court is set to rule in the near future on whether or not to allow the termination of the pilot contracts.
During recent negotiations with management, Aloha pilots agreed to 20% pay cuts, productivity enhancements and a two-year “freeze” on their pension plan. These concessions totaled $12.5 million in annual savings. As a result of these concessions, management promised in a Letter of Agreement not to seek rejection of the pilot collective bargaining agreement in bankruptcy court. Management is now not only seeking to terminate the pilots’ pension plan, but the entire contract.
“We have made every attempt to negotiate in good faith with this management team for a labor contract that benefits both the pilots and the company, and would create a seamless transition for the new investors,” said David Bird, chairman of the master executive council for the Aloha pilot group. “Why they now would go back on their word, ask the Court to reject our contract, and risk having the new investors walk away from the table is beyond reason.”
The $12.5 million in cuts and other pilot concessions have allowed Aloha not only to return to profitability, but have also attracted new investor groups and brightened the future of Aloha Airlines.
Further talks between the pilot group and Aloha lawyers are set for later today.