August 8, 2017

After six years of failed contract negotiations, the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, representing flight attendants at Allegiant Air, has sent a letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) requesting that the regulatory body step in and begin the process that could lead ultimately to a strike.

Under the Railway Labor Act, if the NMB agrees with the union that further negotiations are futile, it would first proffer to both TWU and Allegiant the possibility of accepting arbitration to resolve their long dispute over contractual terms. If both parties accepted the proffered arbitration, the arbitration process would then take over. But if one or both parties were to reject it, the next step would be a 30-day cooling-off period, following which the union could call a strike.

The flight attendants represented by TWU at Allegiant are among the lowest-paid in the industry. TWU maintains that the airline’s behavior in demonstrates clearly that Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher and the company have no intention of reaching an agreement with the union, other than a substandard one—this even though Allegiant remains very profitable.

“The TWU does not make this request lightly,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “But this company continues to undermine the possibility of a bargained settlement. They’ve even violated the most fundamental precept of collective bargaining by attacking the status quo of our members in the midst of so-called good faith negotiation efforts. Our only goal here is to win these flight attendants a fair contract – which would enhance, not harm – the ability of Allegiant to operate successfully. But the airline continues to present proposals that no self-respecting group of organized workers could accept.”