In March, mechanics and related classifications at Allegiant Air voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the Teamsters Union.
“Congratulations to all of our mechanics who voted to stand united so they can negotiate for better wages, benefits and safety standards under a Teamster contract,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “We’re excited to begin the negotiations process at Allegiant Air.”
Allegiant Air employs about 400 mechanics and related technicians, primarily in Las Vegas and in Sanford, Fla., but also in 10 other stations throughout the country. The Teamsters already represent pilots and flight dispatchers employed by Allegiant Air.
Colin Coffman has been working for Allegiant Air at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for three years. He served on the organizing committee during the campaign to bring mechanics into the Teamsters Union.
“Before I worked at Allegiant, I was a Teamster for 19 years at UPS Air Cargo,” Coffman said. “They were a powerful voice for us. The solidarity was there, and it seemed like it was a family. I think workers here need that solidarity; we need that strength.”
“The mechanics at Allegiant Airlines recognize the power that Teamster representation brings to their co-workers as well as mechanics at companies like United Airlines and UPS Air Cargo, and they want in on the action,” Bourne said.
Best Airline Possible
Mechanics at Allegiant Air emphasized that their interest in joining the Teamsters Union came from a desire to improve both their workplace and the company as a whole.
“There are a lot of great things about working at Allegiant Air,” Coffman said. “If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t try to make our jobs better by organizing with the Teamsters—we would just quit. I really believe that Allegiant is on the edge of becoming something really special, and we want a seat at the table so we can make this company the best airline it can possibly be.”
“Our goal isn’t to come in here and be irate, and pull the company down, or bring down anyone personally,” said Patrick Johnson, an Allegiant worker for the past seven years. “We’re interested in making the airline a better place to work, more profitable and safer. I want us to focus on shifting toward a more career-oriented model for mechanics, because I take my career very seriously. I’ve been doing this for over 35 years. For young mechanics coming up in the ranks, I don’t want to see them leave for another carrier. I want to see good people stay with the company and do well here.”
“I think it’s great that we’re bringing in the union,” said Quentin Parks, a nine-year Allegiant worker. “We all come from different cities—Mesa, Las Vegas, Sanford, all over. At all of these places, we need a structure in place to deal with the issues that come up at work, and each station, there’s different issues. What the Teamsters bring to the company is structure. No matter where you come from or where you are hired, you’ll go through the same process as everyone else in the company.”
Local 1224 Raising Standards for Airline Workers
Pilots at charter airline Omni Air International reached a new tentative agreement with the company on February 28. The agreement includes major increases in pay that make Omni’s starting first officer salaries the highest in the U.S. airline industry. The pilots are represented by Local 1224 and have been in negotiations with the company for more than two years.
The contract addresses longstanding concerns about compensation. Many Omni pilots operating under the agreement will see their pay more than double during its four-year term. The contract also includes major improvements in issues related to travel, lodging and benefits, a major victory for pilots at Omni.
The Omni contract marks the latest victory for the union, which represents pilots at 10 U.S.-based passenger and cargo airlines.
“Our union is committed to raising the bar for the piloting craft,” said Local 1224 President Daniel C. Wells. “With the Omni agreement—the latest in a string of contract victories after Allegiant and Kalitta—we have made these companies a respectable place for pilots to work.
“We are proud of forcing this evolution in the industry. The contract with Omni is the latest hard-fought victory for pilots in our union and throughout the trade. We are proud to be raising standards for America’s professional pilots that support decent, stable jobs for our members and their families, and we are proud to help Omni attract and retain pilots who will keep the airline safe for its passengers,” Wells said.
Based in Tulsa, Okla., Omni is the nation’s largest all-passenger charter airline. The company operates domestic and international flights for corporations, sports teams, government agencies, the U.S. armed forces and others.
“A win for pilots is a win for Omni,” said Eric Wainscott, Omni Pilots Executive Council Chairman. “With precedent-setting pay and benefits for Omni pilots, we can attract and keep our best pilots, ensuring that our passengers arrive safely and comfortably at their destinations.”