(Reuters) -North American pilots are pushing for better pay and working conditions in their talks over new job contracts with company managements. Members of some unions have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract is not reached.
The aggressive stance comes at a time of pilot shortages and a rise in public support for unions. The following is the status of contract negotiations at various companies:
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC:
American Airlines pilots approved a new contract that included more than $9.6 billion in total pay and benefits increases over four years.
The Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 pilots at the Texas-based carrier, said 72.7% of the pilots voted for the deal that would result in an immediate pay raise of more than 21%.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO:
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.
DELTA AIR LINES:
In March, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said that 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’s pilots on May 29 ended a decade-long contract framework, opening the door to “full bargaining this summer,” their union leadership said in a note to members seen by Reuters.
Previously, Air Canada pilots said they are pressing for “historic” gains to narrow the earnings gap with higher-paid aviators at U.S. carriers.
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 the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) less than 24 hours before the start of an expected strike at Canada’s second-largest carrier.
UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS:
The Chicago-based carrier reached a new four-year labor agreement with its pilots on July 15, in which they will get a cumulative 34.5%-40.2% pay hike over four years, the Air Line Pilots Association that represents about 14,000 pilots at United, said.
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 Corp 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.
(Reporting by Priyamvada C, Amna Karimi and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)