Allegiant Air Pilots Prohibited from Striking During Mediation
A federal judge has ruled that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 who pilot for troubled Allegiant Air cannot legally go on strike while the mediation process between the union and the airline is ongoing. The ruling confirms an earlier temporary restraining order the airline had secured when a strike seemed imminent.
Negotiations between the union, which nearly 500 pilots voted to join in 2012, and the airline has not gone well despite pay raises given to the pilots amounting to as much as a 7% increase. The union complained that Allegiant changed the Work Rules for its pilots, which gave the pilots cause to walk off work. The airline disputed this assertion; however, in a separate ruling a judge confirmed that the airline must reinstate the old Work Rules with the exception of some scheduling decisions.
The union still claimed the change in Work Rules as sufficient cause to allow a work stoppage under the rules that govern federal mediation, but the judge confirmed that because both sides are engaged in voluntary mediation under the federal guidelines, a work stoppage is not allowed.
Allegiant operates 73 aircraft in an ultra-low airfare model, where ticket prices are kept very low and most profits stem from additional fees for checked baggage or other “perks” and services that can be paid for. The airline also makes a healthy profit from travel packages it offers. The stability in negotiations afforded by the twin court orders concerning Work Rules and work stoppages should mean the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) will loosen its monitoring of the airline and its labor problems.