Spirit Airlines Pilots Will Strike If No Contract By June 12th


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Spirit Airlines Pilots Will Strike If No Contract By June 12th

By Steve Hall   (Update see Spirit Airlines Pilots Walk Off The Job To Demand Fair Contract)

May 13, 2010 - Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), announced Wednesday that they have received confirmation of the 30-day cooling-off period from the National Mediation Board (NMB). The NMB has given the two sides until 12:01 a.m., Eastern time, Saturday, June 12, to reach an agreement on a new pilot contract. After that time, pilot leaders may call a lawful strike. 

To mark this announcement, today (Thursday) pilots will conduct informational picketing outside Spirit company headquarters. The event will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2800 Executive Way, Miramar, Florida.

“During the past three years of negotiations, Spirit management has done everything imaginable to avoid giving our pilots a new contract that is in line with our peers at other low-cost carriers,” said Capt. Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “But the clock is now ticking. There’s no more time for games, stall tactics, or laughable proposals. It is time for them to get serious about delivering a contract that recognizes and rewards our contributions to this airline.”


“Every one of ALPA’s nearly 53,000 members at 38 airlines stands behind the Spirit pilots,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “Our international union is bringing its full weight of resources and more than seven decades of experience to bear to help the Spirit pilots get the contract they deserve.”

Spirit pilots have been in negotiations with their management for more than three years, much of that time with the help of a mediator. In February 2010, after more fruitless sessions with management, the pilots applied to the NMB for a proffer of arbitration. On May 3, the NMB proffered binding arbitration to both sides, which the pilots refused two days later. This refusal allowed the NMB to call for a 30-day cooling-off period, which begins today and ends at 12:01 a.m., June 12, Eastern time.

“We are hopeful that setting a deadline will force this management to come to the table with reasonable expectations and reasonable proposals,” continued Capt. Creed. “But make no mistake, without a contract on June 12—Spirit pilots will strike.”


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.

Spirit Airlines issued the following comments on Wednesday following the National Mediation Board’s formal release of Spirit and the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the labor union that represents the airline’s pilots, from mediated negotiations.  Under the Railway Labor Act, this moves the negotiations into a 30-day cooling off period.

“Spirit is committed to working with ALPA and intends to reach an agreement that effectively ensures the long-term stability and growth of the company, as well as providing for rewarding and stable careers for our pilots and co-workers who do a great job for the company.

“Spirit trusts that ALPA shares in the company’s strong commitment to use this period to work diligently to reach a solution that is mutually beneficial for all parties. Spirit intends to operate normally through this process.

“To the extent required by any applicable federal and state law, such as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Spirit will be providing notice to some employees of possible reductions that could be implemented”.

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