Alaska Airlines pilots overwhelmingly vote in favor of strike authorization
The union representing Alaska Airlines pilots approved a “strike-authorization” measure earlier this week.
This does not mean the pilots are on strike, and guests and operations are not affected at this time.
According to Alaska Airlines, a strike can only proceed after a specific, multi-step process involving the federal government and the National Mediation Board.
Alaska Airlines hopes to reach a deal on an updated contract that works for their pilots.
The Alaska Airlines Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has been in negotiations for three years with Alaska Airlines, with frustrating results.
“The strike is fully avoidable,” Captain Will McQuillen said after a picket was held April 1. “What we’re seeking is in place at every competing airline.”
The pilots’ demands revolve around flexibility in schedule, a better work/life balance, fewer mid-flight changes in routes and trips, and job security.
If the situation remains at an impasse where no deal can be made, President Biden would have an opportunity to intervene due to the Railway Labor Act. The act states that the Presidential Emergency Board can get involved when essential transportation services are threatened with a 30-day review of the situation and a following 30-day “cooling off” period to help both sides come to an agreement and avoid a strike, management lockout, or attempted unilateral imposition of work rules.