AirTran Pilots to Conduct Strike Authorization Ballot
pilot leadership has authorized a strike authorization vote to be conducted
beginning April 19. Members of the AirTran MEC met last week to assess the
status of contract negotiations. After lengthy discussion, they passed a
resolution initiating this special membership ballot.
“Details of the vote and the corresponding timelines are being circulated to
our pilots,” said AirTran MEC Chairman Linden Hillman. “After nearly six years
of collective bargaining—at a time when our airline is posting substantial
profits—we need to do something to jumpstart these contract talks.”
A strike authorization ballot, if ratified by AirTran pilots, provides the
MEC with the discretion to declare a strike, when and if the proper
circumstances support such a decision. The Railway Labor Act, the legal
framework for the contract talks, outlines a step-by-step process with a series
of requirements that must be accomplished before labor or management can conduct
AirTran pilot collective bargaining is currently in
mediation, and progress has been slow, given the late stage of negotiations.
“Our goal is to reach an agreement with AirTran management, not to strike,”
said Hillman. “However, we can only wait so long, and our patience is wearing
The AirTran pilots’ most recent agreement was signed in 2001 and became
amendable in 2005.