September 11, 2009
Hawaiian Airlines Pilots Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike
HONOLULU – Hawaiian 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 if contract talks do not result in a new collective bargaining agreement. An overwhelming 98 percent of the pilots responding voted to support the strike ballot, which opened on August 25.
“This vote should be a wake-up call to Hawaiian Airlines management,” said Captain Eric Sampson, chairman of the ALPA unit at Hawaiian Airlines. “There has never been a strike in the 80-year history of our airline, and we don’t want one now. But if that’s what it takes to win a fair and reasonable contract, our pilots have told us loud and clear that they’re ready to take that final step.”
The strike vote does not mean that a strike is imminent. It authorizes the pilot leadership to begin a strike if and when they deem it necessary once the National Mediation Board (NMB) declares an impasse and releases the parties to self-help. Negotiators for ALPA and Hawaiian are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator October 12 in Washington, DC. The two sides also met this week in Honolulu without the mediator present and could do so again prior to the October NMB session.
“The 98 percent approval rating is outstanding and one of the largest margins of support ALPA has ever seen. We deeply appreciate every Hawaiian pilot who stood up and made a statement when it counted, and we hope the next vote we take is one to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement,” Sampson said.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents nearly 53,500 pilots at 36 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including the 405 pilots at Hawaiian Airlines. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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Capt. Eric Sampson, (808) 836-2572, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rusty Ayers, (847) 323-9519, email@example.com