Alaska Airlines Pilots Vote To Authorize Strike

Alaska Airlines Pilots Vote To Authorize Strike

14

Alaska Airlines pilots are continuing to inch ever-so-slowly closer to going on strike.

99% of Alaska Airlines pilots vote to authorize strike

Alaska Airlines’ pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), has been seeking a new contract for Alaska Airlines pilots for roughly three years now. While it’s normal for these contract negotiations to go on for some amount of time, three years is a very long time.

Admittedly the pandemic has taken a lot of bargaining power away from frontline employees, at least for most of 2020 and 2021. However, with things looking up for airlines, unions are once again pushing harder for new contracts.

With Alaska Airlines pilots not otherwise making much progress at the bargaining table, in April the union leadership voted unanimously to conduct a strike-authorization ballot among pilots.

That balloting has now finished, and the pilots sent a pretty clear message. Of Alaska Airlines’ 3,000+ pilots, 96% of pilots cast votes, and 99% of those pilots voted in favor of authorizing a strike. In other words, over 95% of all Alaska Airlines pilots have voted to authorize a strike.

Alaska Airlines overwhelmingly support a strike

Does that mean Alaska Airlines pilots are going on strike?

While Alaska Airlines pilots have now voted in favor of a strike-authorization, that doesn’t mean a strike will be happening anytime soon. This vote simply means that Alaska Airlines pilots can go on strike when they are legally permitted to do so.

Alaska Airlines management and the union representing pilots will have to follow the procedures of the Railway Labor Act, which includes going to go to the National Mediation Board, in hopes of coming to a resolution. A strike would only (eventually) be permitted if that process fails. Even then it wouldn’t be imminent, as there would first be a 30-day cooling off period before a strike can occur.

The reality is that strikes don’t happen often at airlines in the United States, and we haven’t seen one in over a decade. Of course that’s not to say it couldn’t happen in the future. Alaska Airlines has been struggling with operational performance in recent weeks. While that’s not officially due to any action on the part of pilots, I would imagine pilots don’t feel very incentivized to work more than is required by their contract.

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines pilots overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing a strike, which is the latest move intended to bring an end to the labor dispute between management and the union. The two parties will now go to mediation, where this will hopefully be resolved.

If it’s not resolved there we could see see a strike become a reality, but only after a 30-day cooling off period. I imagine this is likely to be resolved in mediation, but who knows. One thing is for sure — Alaska Airlines has historically had some of the better labor relations among US airlines, but that seems to have soured.

What do you think the odds are that Alaska Airlines pilots go on strike?

(Tip of the hat to Ethan Klapper)

Conversations (14)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Monica McIntyre Guest

    I was hoping they would settle this. Our flight was canceled due to (I suspect) a pilot sick out two days before departure to OGG on May 7th. I was on the phone within five minutes of the text and managed to get us all re-booked on Hawaiian, they were in the process of re-booking us on separate AS flights with multiple stops. It was a major feat considering there were 5 of us on...

    I was hoping they would settle this. Our flight was canceled due to (I suspect) a pilot sick out two days before departure to OGG on May 7th. I was on the phone within five minutes of the text and managed to get us all re-booked on Hawaiian, they were in the process of re-booking us on separate AS flights with multiple stops. It was a major feat considering there were 5 of us on 3 different PNR’s. Thankfully our return flight to SJC went as scheduled. AS has been my go to for Hawaii for our group trips thanks to the B of A card companion pass. Guess I’ll be booking Hawaiian for next year’s group trip…

  2. Bharat Jhaveri Guest

    No more Alaska flights for me. We have alternatives. In 93 we suffered a lot from American Airlines flight attendant strike. Got stuck in Rio for 3 days before making it back to US. We have NEVER taken another American Airlines flight.

    1. Mark Guest

      That’s a long time to boycott an airline. Between all labor, mx, or IT issues that have stranded people over the last few decades, you’ll soon run out of airlines!

  3. DEE Guest

    Union crap torture the customers via strike and then higher fares when they get all the things that they want...

  4. Steve Diamond

    Should loyal OMAAT readers vote to strike unless the pop ups are removed? Surely there is another way to get that ad revenue Lucky.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Well if you want the pop ups removed, maybe you should start clicking a lot more on them first.

    2. The Sourdough Guest

      Start "clicking" more ads (Pop ups)? Well, please do, the algorithm would certainly enjoy that. Oh, and "Eskimo" is considered a derogatory term, unless you are an Inuit and prefer to be labeled as a "Raw meat eater" by a people not Inuit.

  5. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    I am alll for the pilots striking, the current management of AS is afar cry from past management teams and it shows throughout the system poor inflight service, ground support lacking that "Alaska way". Prediction if Ben & company are allowed to continue long term there will be no long term, Alaska will be merged or shareholders will purge.

  6. Never In Doubt Guest

    Won’t be booking any mid-summer Alaska tickets!

    1. Dan77W Guest

      @Never In Doubt

      Why not? You know a pilot strike vote is just a small step in a years long process… nothing imminent at all.

    2. Chris Guest

      Maybe it’s in solidarity with the pilots.

    3. Never In Doubt Guest

      @Dan77W,

      I have effectively equivalent alternatives.

      Why take the risk?

    4. Harry Guest

      Totally agree. After booking & re-booking 5 times an Alaskan cruise since 2019, this August somehow we're going. So I've booked Delta on points for a backup. I can't see taking the risk as one can cancel and the Delta miles back in the piggy bank if our Alaska flight does take place.

    5. Dan77W Guest

      And I’m just telling you there is NO risk of that this summer…perhaps in a year (familiarize yourself with the Railroad Labor Act as it relates to strikes) , but do what you like

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Steve Diamond

Should loyal OMAAT readers vote to strike unless the pop ups are removed? Surely there is another way to get that ad revenue Lucky.

1
Monica McIntyre Guest

I was hoping they would settle this. Our flight was canceled due to (I suspect) a pilot sick out two days before departure to OGG on May 7th. I was on the phone within five minutes of the text and managed to get us all re-booked on Hawaiian, they were in the process of re-booking us on separate AS flights with multiple stops. It was a major feat considering there were 5 of us on 3 different PNR’s. Thankfully our return flight to SJC went as scheduled. AS has been my go to for Hawaii for our group trips thanks to the B of A card companion pass. Guess I’ll be booking Hawaiian for next year’s group trip…

0
Mark Guest

That’s a long time to boycott an airline. Between all labor, mx, or IT issues that have stranded people over the last few decades, you’ll soon run out of airlines!

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published