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Allegiant says GET BACK TO WORK

Old 04-02-2015, 03:39 AM
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Default Allegiant says GET BACK TO WORK

Allegiant pilot strike blocked by court

Judge temporarily blocks Allegiant Air pilot strike


Allegiant Air passengers avoided a holiday weekend travel nightmare after a federal judge blocked a planned pilots' strike due to begin Thursday.

The strike drama at the low-cost airline debuted and died in a matter of hours Wednesday, temporarily sending the thousands of passengers who could be stranded into a state of panic over how they would make it to or from their spring break, Easter and March Madness getaways.

RELATED: Allegiant Q&A for travelers

It began when a unit of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents Allegiant's pilots, announced that it planned a strike Thursday at several Allegiant hubs, including Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in east Mesa. The pilots, who have been negotiating their first contract with Allegiant for more than two years, authorized a strike early this year and issued an open letter to Allegiant customers earlier this week with their concerns. But the pilots never had publicly put a date on a strike until late Wednesday morning.

The pilots said they were striking because Allegiant refused to reinstate their former scheduling system and other working conditions as mandated by an earlier court order. Allegiant maintains that it has complied with the order.

"We don't feel they've done that in any way, shape or form,'' Phoenix-based pilot Tom Cox said in an interview.

Cox has been with Allegiant for more than five years and has high seniority out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. He said the new monthly pilot scheduling system doesn't give as much weight to seniority as Allegiant's previous system. Seniority is prized because it dictates a pilot's work life. Cox said there were dates in December had to work on weekends that he hadn't bid on because the company required it.

"It really, really altered my schedule,'' he said.

The pilots' union, Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, said the planned strike would have affected as many as 250 flights, including 36 at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, and an estimated 33,000 passengers.

Allegiant, which specializes in cheap, non-stop flights between smaller cities and big vacation destinations like greater Phoenix, Las Vegas and Florida, immediately filed a request in federal court in Las Vegas for a temporary restraining order against the pilots. The company said a strike would be illegal because the two sides had not exhausted all options for contract negotiations.

The airline said a strike would cost millions of dollars of day in lost revenue it was offering refunds to passengers with flights scheduled over the next week and would hurt is reputation and future business. Unlike major airlines, Allegiant only offers flights to most destinations two or three times a week. That means travelers have few options for another flight when flights are canceled.

"If the threatened strike took place, Allegiant's passengers might have no alternative to to get to their destinations, and if they did, they would have to pay for expensive, last-minute tickets that might make several stops,'' it said in a court filing in U.S. District Court "Thus, a strike would erode Allegiant's credibility with its passengers and they would certainly be less likely to fly Allegiant in the future."

The airline had no choice but to prepare for a strike and on Wednesday afternoon issued a travel advisory, alerting travelers to the possible strike and their options. Its Facebook page filled with comments from travelers concerned about their vacation plans or return home.

"Maybe you should give them (the union) what they want?'' said one Facebook comment.

By 4 p.m. Thursday, the issue was over, at least temporarily. The company announced that a federal judge had issued a temporary restraining order. The Teamsters said they would comply with it.

"With the threat of an imminent strike over, Allegiant hopes that both parties can now focus on the next federally mediated (contract) negotiating session, scheduled for late April,'' the airline said in a statement.

The union issued its own statement.

"Although we know that our strike to restore the status quo (for pilot working conditions) is legal, we will comply with the judge's decision and look forward to having our voices heard at the upcoming hearing,'' it said.

Allegiant pilot strike blocked by court
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:44 AM
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So much for union strength. Of course, Allegiant is only 473 pilots. But if any of you REALLY believe that in five years you'll get to strike....think again. There is absolutely NO WAY the courts will let that happen.

This Company owns the "third listers", the APA, the West (see previous post) and Regional pilots are more than willing to take your place....strike or no strike. They LOSE their "seniority" at Allegiant (according to the article) so what makes anyone here believe ANY different.

Welcome to the "New American".
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