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Teamsters Seek Court Order to Restore Status Quo at Allegiant Air

Update on Lawsuit Filed Against Allegiant Air
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Amanda Bledsoe

Phone: 937-383-2500

Washington, D.C. - Today the Teamsters filed a motion in federal court seeking an order enjoining Allegiant Air from violating the status quo provisions as embodied in the 2010 Pilot Work Rules Agreement and in binding past practices that were in effect at the time Allegiant Air and the Teamsters began negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.  The Teamsters are also seeking a court order compelling Allegiant Air to restore the status quo provisions that it has already changed.  Along with the motion, the Teamsters filed an extensive brief containing numerous documents and sworn declarations from several of the pilots who fly for Allegiant Air.

These actions follow a lawsuit filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 1224 against Allegiant Air on November 15 in the federal district court in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The lawsuit alleges that Allegiant Air is violating the Railway Labor Act by disregarding many of the provisions and protections contained in the Work Rules Agreement negotiated by Allegiant Air and AAPAG, the former independent union representing the pilots of Allegiant Air. 

Allegiant Air responded to the suit by issuing a communication to its pilots stating that Allegiant Air is not bound by the Railway Labor Act’s status quo requirements because AAPAG was not a labor union and because the 2010 Pilot Work Rules Agreement was not a collective bargaining agreement. 

“They do ‘concede’ only ‘for the sake of argument’ that the 2010 Pilot Work Rules Agreement was a collective bargaining agreement,” said Daniel Wells, president of Teamsters Local 1224, “but they continue to claim the right to ignore the negotiated work rules and make whatever changes they want to make to the provisions contained in the agreement.”

On December 17, Allegiant Air filed a motion to transfer the case from the federal district court in Ft Lauderdale, Florida to the federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Teamsters will oppose the motion.

In the brief filed today by the Teamsters in support of the motion:

  • The Teamsters point out that the former independent union representing the pilots of Allegiant Air was a labor organization and, more importantly, a “representative” within the meaning of the RLA; 
  • The Teamsters provide documentation in support of their motion showing that Allegiant Air, in writing, recognized AAPAG as the “duly elected and representative body” of the Allegiant Air pilots;
  • The Teamsters provide evidence demonstrating that the 2010 Pilot Work Rules Agreement, along with the prior agreements negotiated between AAPAG and Allegiant Air were indeed “agreements” within the meaning of the RLA; and that those agreements, along with the past practices related to the pilots’ terms and conditions of employment all, as a matter of law, set the status quo for the current negotiations between Allegiant Air and the Teamsters.

“At this point, we anticipate that after Allegiant Travel Company and Allegiant Air file their response to the Teamsters’ motion, the Court will soon set a hearing on the motion,” said Ed Gleason, Teamsters Local 1224’s chief counsel.

The Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and represents nearly 4000 members among ten air carriers that operate both passenger and cargo aircraft.  Local 1224 is the certified bargaining unit that represents all flight crew members employed by ABX Air, Inc., Allegiant Air, Atlas Air, Inc., Brendan Airways, LLC, Horizon Air Industries, Inc., Hyannis Air Services, Inc., Kalitta Air, LLC, Miami Air International, Omni Air International, Silver Airways Corporation, and Southern Air, Inc.