Factbox-Airline staff seek new contracts amid booming travel demand

(Reuters) -North American pilots and flight attendants are pushing for better pay and working conditions during their talks over new job contracts with company managements.

Members at some unions have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract is not reached. The aggressive stance comes as the U.S. airline industry struggles to boost staff levels to meet a surge in travel demand.

The following is the status of contract negotiations at various companies:


American Airlines pilots on Aug. 21 approved a new contract that includes more than $9.6 billion in total pay and benefits increases over four years.


The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) in May said its members at the company 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 pilots at Delta had ratified a new contract that includes over $7 billion in cumulative increases in wages and benefits over four years.

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


Air Canada pilots on Sept.29 staged a protest at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, demanding better pay and benefits as talks over a new contract covering 4,500 pilots at Canada’s largest carrier continue.


WestJet Airlines pilots will get a 24% hourly raise over four years, plus other pay and benefits as part of a tentative agreement reached in May, according to a copy seen by Reuters on May 26.

The tentative agreement was reached by Onex Corp’s WestJet and ALPA less than 24 hours before the start of an expected strike at Canada’s second-largest carrier.


United Airlines’ pilots have ratified a new four-year contract that includes a significant pay increase and other benefits, the union representing the pilots said on Sept. 29.

The pilots will get a cumulative 34.5% to 40.2% increase in pay in the new four-year contract, as well as better work-life quality, sick leave, work rule and vacation improvements, and an increase to retirement benefits for United’s 16,000 pilots.


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

The union that represents the ultra-low-cost carrier said 69% of the airline’s pilots voted 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, ALPA said pilots at JetBlue Airways 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 ratifying the agreement, which provides for a compensation increase of 21.5% over 18 months as well as other monetary improvements.


FedEx pilots have rejected a tentative contract deal with the parcel delivery firm and the two sides will reopen negotiations, likely under the supervision of the National Mediation Board, the company and the pilots’ union said on July 24.


The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union said on Oct. 19 it has reached a tentative agreement with National Airlines.

The agreement calls for across-the-board pay raises, including two raises a year for the first nine years of employment for most flight attendants, among other benefits.

The IAM represents about 55 flight attendants at the Orlando, Florida-based airline.


More than 2,000 flight attendants at Air Transat unanimously voted to authorize a strike mandate, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said on Monday.

The strike mandate, approved by a nearly unanimous vote of 99.8%, comes after 33 negotiation sessions, which began in April.

(Reporting by Priyamvada C, Amna Karimi and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Sriraj Kalluvila, Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)