If pilots of Spirit Airlines don’t get a new contract soon, a strike may be the airlines’ near future.
The pilots of the low cost airline claimed that they have rejected an offer from the National Mediation Board on May 5th.
The pilot’s are now expected to enter a 30-day cool down period. Once this period passes, pilots will have the opportunity and right to strike, said Captain Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA).
Negotiations of a contract have been going on for over three years, Creed stated. The airline is proffering a contract that would possibly result in $12 million in allowance over a five-year period.
The allowances would stem from work rule changes, Creed noted.
About 500 of Spirit’s pilots are represented by ALPA.
On average Spirit pilots make 10 percent less than pilots who work for other low-cost carriers. “We’re asking for pay parity with the industry,” Creed said.
Parties are waiting on notice from the National Mediation Board regarding the start date of the 30-day period, Creed said.
“We have not heard anything from the National Mediation,” Misty Pinson, Spirit spokesperson stated in an email. “We will put out a statement if and when we’ve received notice from the National Mediation Board.”
Creed expressed that if it takes most of the 30-day cooling off period for the company to reach a contract, he won’t be surprised.
“Striking isn’t our objective,” Creed expressed. “Our objective is to get a fair contract.”