Unions in North American airline strike over pay, conditions

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Unions in North American airline strike over pay, conditions

Southwest Airlines planes are on show at San Diego International Airport in San Diego, California, ahead of peak travel season.

The pilots in North American are insisting on higher pay and working conditions during their talks over new employment contracts with company managements. Some unions have voted to authorize strikes if a new contract isn't reached.

At a time of pilot shortages and rising public support for unions, the aggressive action comes at a time of pilot shortages. The status of contract negotiations in various companies is shown.

The Allied Pilots Association APA said in May that pilots of the company approved a strike mandate ahead of the busy summer travel season, though the chances of an actual labor disruption remain slim.

More than 96% of APA members participated in the vote and over 99% voted for authorizing a strike, the union said.

In May, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association SWAPA said its members at the airline approved a strike mandate. It added that 98% of its members participated in the vote and 99% voted in favor of authorizing a strike.

In March, the Air Line Pilots Association ALPA said Delta pilots had ratified a new contract that included over $7 billion in cumulative increases in wages and benefits over four years.

The new contract covers 15,000 Delta pilots and offers a 34% cumulative pay hike, a lump-sum one-time payment, reduced health insurance premiums and improvements in holiday pay, vacation, company contributions to 401 k and work rules.

Earlier in May, the Air Canada Pilots Association said its members are pressing for historic workplace gains and full bargaining with the carrier was likely to begin this summer, before the end of their decade-long contract.

A union supporting WestJet's pilots reached a tentative agreement with the Canadian airline on May 18, averting a strike that would have caused travel disruptions during the Victoria Day holiday weekend.

In a separate statement, United Airlines said 94% of its most recent pilots voted to reject a contract offer.

In January, ALPA said the pilots at Spirit Airlines voted to ratify a new contract.

The airline's union voted 69% in favor of the new collective bargaining agreement, which offers an economic gain of $463 million, or 27%, over the next two years.

In January, AlabamaPA said JetBlue Airways Corp's pilots have overwhelmingly approved a two-year contract extension.

AlPA, which represents more than 4,600 pilots at JetBlue, said 75% of the pilots voted in favor of ratification of the agreement, which provides for a compensation increase of 21.5% over 18 months as well as other monetary improvements.

In mid-May, ALPA said that FedEx Express pilots, a unit of FedEx, have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike.

More than 97% of the union's members took part in the vote and 99% of them authorized union leaders to call a strike, if necessary.