Western Global Pilots Vote to Join ALPA
By Molly Martin, Contributing Writer
On April 6, the National Mediation Board (NMB) certified ALPA as the bargaining representative for the 200 pilots of Western Global Airlines. The certification took place after the NMB announced that a majority of Western Global pilots voted for the Association following a month-long voting period, which opened on March 2. With 93 percent of eligible pilots participating in the election, 69 percent voted in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union.
“The dedication and professionalism of Western Global pilots, especially the pilot volunteers on the Organizing Committee, during this representation election was impressive,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA’s president. “ALPA believes in the dignity of work and the fundamental right of all workers to organize and engage in a free and fair election to join a union.”
Western Global pilots faced a highly intimidating antiunion campaign from its management, which forced ALPA and the pilot group’s Organizing Committee to put the company on notice. Simply put, ALPA would not let management violate the Railway Labor Act, which guarantees the right of workers to organize and join unions and elect representatives without employer coercion or interference.
Western Global pilots will now begin their membership campaign. As ALPA members, they will have access to a comprehensive network of resources, including the largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization in the world.
“The addition of Western Global pilots’ voices strengthens ALPA and allows us all to be more effective in advancing aviation and promoting the airline piloting profession,” said DePete. “I’m extremely pleased to welcome another all-cargo pilot group to our ranks as Western Global pilots begin negotiations for their first collectively bargained agreement.”
ALPA’s Executive Council created a single local council to serve ALPA’s newest pilot group, putting in place a structure Western Global pilots can use to address any immediate issues that might arise before they elect permanent representatives.
The appointed Local Council/Master Executive Council (MEC) representatives include
- F/O Greg Pinckney, temporary MEC chair and F/O Rep,
- Capt. Josh Rowe, temporary MEC vice chair and Capt. Rep, and
- F/O Laddie Diaz, temporary secretary-treasurer.
These representatives elected Pinckney as MEC chair to serve until the Western Global pilots elect permanent MEC officers later this year, after ALPA receives a substantial number of member applications.
To learn more about ALPA’s newest pilot group, visit wgn.alpa.org.
At A Glance
Pilots Joined ALPA: April 6, 2021. The pilots were previously unrepresented.
Number of Pilots: 200
Pilot Bases: Home-based
Headquarters: Estero, Fla.
Operations: Western Global is an all-cargo carrier that began operations six years ago. The airline offers ACMI operations and charter flights to 400 airports in 134 countries on six continents.
Fleet: 19 company-owned MD-11s and B-747-400Fs