Release #: 21.61
October 01, 2021
PAL Airlines Pilots File for Conciliation
ST. JOHNS, N.L.—The Newfoundland and Labrador-based pilots of PAL Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today announced they have filed a request for conciliation services with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
After nearly two years of negotiations for their first collective agreement, PAL Airlines pilots and the PAL Group of Companies executives have yet to reach an agreement on many issues. While continuing to help the airline earn a profit, pilots are working under extreme duress, including operating understaffed, without contractual job protections, and with increased health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The executives continue to fail to prioritize the pilots and other employee groups who serve their airline, and in doing so they are jeopardizing the service that numerous passengers, residents, and businesses rely on PAL Airlines to safely operate,” said ALPA Canada President Tim Perry. “It’s time for them to recognize the significant contributions PAL Airlines pilots bring to the airline by reaching an industry-standard agreement without a strike.”
PAL Airlines pilots are committed to attaining an industry-standard collective agreement that provides fair pay, job security, sensible scheduling rules that emphasize the rest necessary for pilots to continue operating safely, and workplace safety programs that advance the airline’s overall safety. The PAL Group’s executives, however, keep stalling and blocking efforts to reach a fair contract, forcing the pilots to turn to the federal government for assistance.
“The pilots continue to want to negotiate but are ready to do everything the law allows to bring equity and fairness to their roles within the industry,” said Perry. “If the company won’t move forward, they will proceed to a strike vote, which we are confident our members will strongly support.”
Before any strike could occur, the Minister of Labour has 15 days to appoint a conciliation officer and then a 60-day conciliation period begins. If the parties are still in dispute following that, a 21-day cooling-off period starts. At that point, the Minister of Labour can take further action to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. Once the cooling-off period ends, the parties gain their respective rights to strike or lockout.
PAL Airlines pilots are backed by an initial $500,000 grant from ALPA’s Major Contingency Fund, which provides them with the necessary resources to respond to threats against their jobs and their profession. The pilots can use the funds in numerous ways to support their response efforts –– establishing a strike center, organizing picketing events, and educating the public about their pursuit of a fair contract –– should conciliation be unsuccessful.
For more information, visit PALPilots.ca.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 61,000 pilots at 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org