Evergreen Airlines Pilots Authorize Union To Call Strike


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Evergreen Airlines Pilots Authorize Union To Call Strike

By Shane Nolan

January 11, 2011 - The crewmembers of Evergreen International Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), resoundingly support conducting a lawful strike if an agreement is not reached with their management.

Evergreen International Airlines is a cargo airline based in McMinnville, Oregon, USA. It operates contract freight services, offering charters and scheduled flights, as well as wet lease services.  

It operates services for the U.S. military and the United States Postal Service, as well as ad hoc charter flights. Its main bases are Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York and Columbus Metropolitan Airport, with a hub at Hong Kong International Airport.

Evergreen maintains a large aircraft maintenance and storage facility at the Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona that the company acquired from the CIA's Air America fleet. In a recent strike ballot issued by the union leadership to the pilot group, an overwhelming 97 percent of crewmembers voted in favor of a lawful strike, should it become necessary to conclude a fair collective agreement with Evergreen management. More than 86 percent of eligible pilots participated in the polling. The crewmembers have been in negotiations since 2005.  

“This vote serves as notice to Evergreen management that we are united and resolved to get an industry-standard contract now,” said William Fink, chairman of the Evergreen chapter of the ALPA. “We do not want a strike, we want a contract, but we are ready to do what it takes for an acceptable agreement. The time has passed to get this done and the ball is now in management’s court.”  

The parties are tentatively scheduled to go back to the negotiating table in February and remain under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board (NMB). A strike could ensue only after the NMB releases the parties into economic self-help after the expiration of a 30-day cooling-off period.  

“The crewmembers are working under the current collective bargaining agreement, which has been in place since 1999. It is just unacceptable to continue down this path after more than 10 years without improvements in some areas of working conditions, six years without a pay raise, and no per diem increase since the late ’90s,” said Fink.

ALPA is the bargaining representative for the 228 pilots and flight engineers in service for EIA. EIA crewmembers operate a fleet of Boeing 747s and specialize in charter and contract freighter operations around the globe from their hub cities of New York (JFK) and Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 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.

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