April 22, 2008
Aloha Pilots File for Temporary Restraining
Membership Strike Vote Set for April 23
HONOLULU – The Aloha Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l., (ALPA), filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Monday. These filings ask the court to make any sale of Aloha’s cargo operations contingent on Aloha abiding by the ALPA-Aloha contract, particularly the provisions covering successorship and sales of Aloha’s assets and operations. Aloha ceased passenger operations on March 31 and is scheduled to sell the cargo operation on April 25.
“Our contract specifically outlines the steps that must be taken to protect pilot jobs,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA President. “Aloha management signed this agreement with the pilots and ALPA is prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Aloha management adheres to the contract and that our pilots’ jobs are preserved.”
ALPA filed its complaint in court last Friday, asserting that Aloha management has repudiated the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement during the past few weeks and has triggered a “major dispute” under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline contract negotiations. ALPA alleges that the company continues to ignore the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement by terminating pilots out of seniority order, recalling pilots out of seniority order, failing to respect job security provisions that require a prospective purchaser to employ the current pilots in seniority order, terminating the pilots’ health plan, and failing to provide furlough pay and benefits, among other actions.
ALPA had been trying to negotiate with management to provide a smooth transition before, during, and after the sale of the cargo operations, but Aloha management has rebuffed those proposals.
ALPA will continue efforts to resolve the issue with management, but, if no agreement is reached very soon, ALPA and the Aloha pilots may, after following all of ALPA’s internal preliminary procedures, strike any or all of Aloha’s operations.
The Aloha pilots are scheduled to meet on Wednesday April 23 to discuss and conduct a strike authorization vote, the first step in calling a strike. A strike may occur at any time following an affirmative strike vote on that date. ALPA has requested a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 24 to address the temporary restraining order.
“Aloha’s flagrant disregard of our contract is outrageous,” said Capt. David Bird, chairman of the Aloha arm of ALPA. “Aloha’s actions not only affect our pilots’ job security, but jeopardizes the future of Hawaii’s cargo flying. We just want Aloha to abide by the contract it signed.”
Aloha filed bankruptcy on March 20, 2008, and Aloha pilot leaders were willing to meet with management to explore every avenue necessary to assist the company in negotiating with prospective suitors. Management continues to ignore every offer.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 56,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contacts: James Linsey, 917-373-0872; Kimberly Seitz, 703-609-1650