Allied Pilots Association Voices Support For Spirit Airlines’ Pilots


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Allied Pilots Association Voices Support For Spirit Airlines’ Pilots

By Daniel Baxter

June 1, 2010 - The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, expressed support for the pilots of Spirit Airlines following the recent declaration of an impasse in contract negotiations with that carrier’s management. “We are well acquainted with the challenge our Spirit Airlines colleagues face”

“We are well acquainted with the challenge our Spirit Airlines colleagues face,” said APA President Captain Lloyd Hill. “They are dealing with a management team engaged in delay tactics and intent on extracting further employee concessions, which has unfortunately become a familiar refrain throughout the airline industry.  

“As professional aviators, we cannot permit the industry-wide ‘race to the bottom’ mentality that prevailed during much of the past decade to continue,” he said.


“We therefore pledge our support to the pilots of Spirit Airlines as they attempt to conclude their contract negotiations amicably and without inconvenience to the airline’s customers.” Following its declaration of a negotiating impasse, the National Mediation Board released Spirit Airlines’ pilots and management to a 30-day cooling-off period. During this time, both parties are required to preserve the status quo, which means that management must maintain the same wages and working conditions and the pilots must refrain from any withdrawal of service.

If no agreement is reached by the end of the 30 days on June 12, the two parties are then permitted to engage in self-help activities such as the imposition of new contract conditions by management or a strike by the pilots.  “We urge Spirit Airlines’ management to dedicate its energies to bargaining in good faith with the airline’s pilots,” Hill said. “Otherwise, the alternative could prove costly to all concerned.”  

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, including 1,988 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. American Airlines is the nation’s second-largest passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.

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