Mesa Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), filed a lawsuit against the airline today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The lawsuit alleges that Mesa bypassed the collective bargaining process required by the Railway Labor Act by implementing bonus and incentive programs without reaching agreement with ALPA. Those programs reward select pilots for meeting short-term company goals, but do nothing to establish a solid foundation for Mesa’s success or address the fact that Mesa’s long-term, loyal pilots haven’t received a pay increase since 2008.
“We filed this lawsuit today because every pilot at Mesa deserves to be paid fairly in accordance with our seniority,” said Capt. Andy Hughes, ALPA Mesa Airlines chairman.
“By rewarding certain pilots through these non-collectively bargained programs, management is creating a divided pilot group and subverting the bargaining process. Mesa pilots are demanding that the company return to negotiations and focus on contractual improvements that reward all pilots.”
ALPA is also seeking an injunction that no new programs be implemented without going through the proper procedures established under the Railway Labor Act. Currently, Mesa pilots have been in negotiations with airline management for more than six years, seeking a contract that is in line with those at similar carriers.
“We will not allow our company to create a pilot group of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ based on their own set of needs outside of the negotiating process,” said Capt. Hughes.
“Mesa pilots have waited long enough for a contract that rewards all pilots, not only those personally selected by management.”