Spirit Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), sent a strong message to their airline’s management team with a 100 percent vote to conduct a lawful strike once they are released from negotiations by the National Mediation Board (NMB).
“Spirit pilots absolutely do not want to go on strike. In fact, no one is more committed to the success of Spirit Airlines than our pilots, and it’s time for management to come to the table prepared to negotiate a contract that fairly reflects that commitment,” said Capt. Stuart Morrison, chairman of the Spirit ALPA pilot group.
“However, as this strike authorization vote unequivocally shows, we are willing to take any lawful steps necessary, including a legal strike, to achieve the contract every Spirit pilot has earned.”
The vote came during a critical time in negotiations, as talks broke down early Saturday morning. Additional mediation sessions are not scheduled at this time.
“Our goal remains to negotiate a contract that protects both the work and the welfare of our pilots,” continued Capt. Morrison.
Immediately following the strike vote, Spirit pilots also announced two upcoming informational picketing events, in Detroit and Las Vegas, where pilots from across the country will demonstrate their collective resolve in attaining a contract that reflects their contributions to the overall success of the airline.
If and when the NMB decides that additional mediation efforts will not be productive, they can extend an offer to arbitrate the dispute. If either side declines arbitration, the parties enter a “cooling off” period and are free to exercise self-help—a strike by the pilots or a lockout by the company—30 days later. Spirit pilots would legally be able to strike once that 30-day cooling-off period expires.
“This vote shows the unity of our pilots and our dedication to reaching a deal with management that reflects our contributions to Spirit Airlines,” said Capt. Morrison.
“Our pilots are also united in the cause of helping one another—and Spirit customers—recover after Hurricane Irma.”