Release #: PAL 22.03
March 21, 2022
PAL Airlines Pilots Rally for First Contract
Dozens Protest Lack of Progress and Current Working Conditions
St. John’s, N.L.—PAL Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), were joined today by fellow ALPA pilots at an informational picket to send a strong message to management at PAL and parent company, Exchange Income Corporation, that the pilots are unified in their resolve to reach a fair contract. The event occurred as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service resumes negotiations between ALPA and the airline’s executives in an effort to fairly conclude more than two years of unproductive bargaining.
“Our pilots continue to demonstrate their full commitment to attaining an industry-standard collective agreement that provides fair pay, job security, and fixes to scheduling in order to allow for adequate rest,” says Capt. Wanda Clarke, PAL pilot and ALPA spokesperson. “Even in the face of threats from PAL executives, we remain committed to negotiating a collective agreement that reflects the contributions our pilots bring to the success of our airline and our community.”
PAL pilots began negotiations in January 2020. Since then, the pilots have continued to ensure the success of the airline despite working under extreme conditions and without contractual job protection. After repeated attempts by ALPA to address concerns and staffing challenges, PAL executives continued to engage in questionable bargaining practices, leading the pilots to file for conciliation in October 2021.
“PAL executives continue to make big city wages but want to pay pilots below industry standard just because we live in Newfoundland. PAL pilots comfortably operate in Newfoundland weather when other airlines cancel flights, yet management doesn’t want to pay for this experience,” added Clarke.
Following a vote that would allow for the pilots to go on strike, management continued their bad-faith efforts by filing a last-minute claim that PAL Airlines is an essential service provider. This action completely changed the negotiating dynamic and effectively brought negotiations to a halt, furthering the difficult working conditions the pilots continue to endure.
PAL pilots are one of five labour groups at the company to unionize and seek a contractual agreement with PAL management.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 62,000 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