May 12, 2010
Spirit Pilots to Management: Fair Contract by
June 12—or Strike
Pilots to Mark Announcement with Picketing in Front of Spirit Headquarters in Miramar, Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE—Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), announced today that they have received confirmation of the 30-day cooling-off period from the National Mediation Board (NMB). The NMB has given the two sides until 12:01 a.m., Eastern time, Saturday, June 12, to reach an agreement on a new pilot contract. After that time, pilot leaders may call a lawful strike.
To mark this announcement, on Thursday, May 13, the pilots will conduct informational picketing outside Spirit company headquarters. The event will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2800 Executive Way, Miramar, Florida.
“During the past three years of negotiations, Spirit management has done everything imaginable to avoid giving our pilots a new contract that is in line with our peers at other low-cost carriers,” said Capt. Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “But the clock is now ticking. There’s no more time for games, stall tactics, or laughable proposals. It is time for them to get serious about delivering a contract that recognizes and rewards our contributions to this airline.”
“Every one of ALPA’s nearly 53,000 members at 38 airlines stands behind the Spirit pilots,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “Our international union is bringing its full weight of resources and more than seven decades of experience to bear to help the Spirit pilots get the contract they deserve.”
Spirit pilots have been in negotiations with their management for more than three years, much of that time with the help of a mediator. In February 2010, after more fruitless sessions with management, the pilots applied to the NMB for a proffer of arbitration. On May 3, the NMB proffered binding arbitration to both sides, which the pilots refused two days later. This refusal allowed the NMB to call for a 30-day cooling-off period, which begins today and ends at 12:01 a.m., June 12, Eastern time.
“We are hopeful that setting a deadline will force this management to come to the table with reasonable expectations and reasonable proposals,” continued Capt. Creed. “But make no mistake, without a contract on June 12—Spirit pilots will strike.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
Captain Sean Creed—(765) 481-9033
Jennifer Lofquist—(703) 481-4459