Allegiant Air pilots vote to strike - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Allegiant Air pilots vote to strike

WILMINGTON, OH (FOX19) - Allegiant Air pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike after two years of negotiations with the company, according to a release from their union on Friday.

More than 98 percent of members approved a strike, voting 465-8 in favor of a walkout. The voters represented a vast majority of pilots who fly for the low-cost airline and are represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224.

“This does not mean that a strike is going to happen tomorrow or even next week,” said APA Teamsters Local 1224 President Daniel Wells. “It does, however, mean that the situation is fluid. If Allegiant continues to stonewall in negotiations and continues to disregard the federal court's injunction ordering it to restore the pilots' work rules, then a pilot strike at Allegiant Air will be very realistic.”

While there is no certainty that a strike will occur at this point - the union will now take the issue to the National Mediation Board (NMB) - a pilot walkout could disrupt the airline's service, impacting local air travel from the Greater Cincinnati International Airport, where Allegiant operates nonstop flights to St. Petersburg, Phoenix, Las Vegas and other destinations.

“No one wants to strike,” Wells said. “We would rather be able to make some real progress in direct negotiations. However, the pilots haven't seen any real progress in over two years.”

Pilots have been disputing with the airline for nearly two years, and entered into mediation last April. In July, a federal court injunction directed Allegiant to restore the pilots' work rule protections and benefits to previously negotiated levels but that has yet to happen, the release said. The union release also said "the issues center on safety concerns and operational deficiencies that cannot be resolved without the company's willingness to begin reinvesting directly into the company's operation. The pilots contend that vital changes are needed for Allegiant's long-term success, before it's too late."

The company has not yet responded.

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