Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

Spirit Pilots Picket as 30-day Cooling-off Period Begins

May 14, 2010 - After three long years of contract talks between the Spirit pilots and the company, on May 12, the National Mediation Board (NMB) released the parties from mediated bargaining, triggering the 30-day cooling-off period after which the pilots and the company are free to engage in self-help (i.e., strike, lockout). The pilots marked the occasion by staging informational picketing directly outside Spirit company headquarters. Joined by pilots from AirTran, American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Pinnacle, and United, nearly 100 pilots marched to demonstrate their unity and their resolve to get a fair and equitable contract for the Spirit pilots. In spite of being profitable for the last six reported quarters and expanding the company’s routes, Spirit management continues to ask for concessions in work rules and benefits from a pilot group that is already operating under a below-industry-standard contract.

“We want a contract—not a strike,” said Capt. Sean Creed, Spirit MEC chair. “But if this management continues to put forward unreasonable proposals, there will be consequences. On June 12, without a contract that recognizes and rewards our contributions to the success of this airline—we will strike.”

The pilots will stage additional picketing events and rallies throughout the 30-day cooling-off period. On Wednesday, May 19, the pilots will picket at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Airport out front of the North Terminal. Please make plans to come out and show your support.

Please click here to watch video footage of the picketing event.