December 11, 2007
Ryan International Airlines Pilots Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike
ROCKFORD, Ill. – Ryan International Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), announced today that they have voted to authorize their elected union representatives to conduct a lawful withdrawal of service, upon release of the parties to self-help by the National Mediation Board, if contract talks do not result in a new collective bargaining agreement for pilots. An overwhelming 96 percent of the pilots responding voted to support the strike ballot.
“This vote should be a wake up call to the principals of the Rubloff Development Group, Inc., who own Ryan International Airlines,” said Captain Erik Sparks, chairman of the ALPA unit at Ryan. “The frustration of the Ryan pilots has hit an all time high with negotiations well into their third year and operations continuing in a downward spiral.”
The strike authorization vote was the next step in the pilots’ escalated efforts to conclude contract negotiations and achieve improved schedules, industry standard pay, and a better overall quality of life. In the fall of this year, the Ryan pilots received $2 million from ALPA’s Major Contingency Fund (MCF) and with it the full support of their 60,000 fellow ALPA pilots throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“Ryan pilots are sending management a clear message to conclude contract negotiations immediately,” said Sparks. “This union stands ready to work together with management to achieve a fair and equitable contract that recognizes the hard work our pilots do in serving our U.S. military, through Department of Defense contracts, and the traveling public, through vacation charters.”
Ryan pilots and management go back into negotiations tomorrow, Wednesday, December 12, for three days of scheduled talks. Pilots believe that negotiations could be concluded during this time, if management dedicated appropriate time and energy to the effort.
The pilots of Ryan International Airlines provide service throughout the globe. ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union representing more than 60,000 cockpit crewmembers at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
# # #
ALPA Contacts: Anya Piazza, 703-481-4457
Captain Erik Sparks, 704-622-6341