When Irony Attacks?
What happens when those
who strike... strike against their own? That is now an issue for
the Air Line Pilots Association after the union's clerical and
support employees walked out Friday, closing ALPA offices around
Since March, ALPA and the Union of ALPA Professional and
Administrative Employees, Unit 2, have been negotiating with a goal
of reaching a consensual agreement regarding their collective
bargaining agreement. On Wednesday -- just before the midnight
deadline on their contract -- the two sides completed a tentative
agreement that ALPA leaders say contained merit salary increases,
delayed health care cost increases, and improved several other
areas of the contract.
Not good enough, said Unit 2 members. They rejected the
agreement Friday... and by noon EDT, ALPA offices around the
country were shut down.
How this strike will impact the union's ongoing negotiations
with such companies as FedEx -- which has been in talks with the
union over an agreement with its pilots since March 2004, and was
expected to return to Washington for mediated talks Wednesday --
remains to be seen.
"We have no idea how it will affect negotiations, but we hope to
continue to move forward as rapidly as we can," said FedEx
spokesman Maury Lane to commercialappeal.com.
ALPA says it won't stand in the way of its employees' efforts...
although the organization feels it's given them the best deal it
"ALPA strongly believes in and supports the right of all
employees -- including its own -- to strike," the union stated.
"The officers of the association will do nothing to undermine or
interfere with their strike."
"Management believes that the TA sufficiently balances the
economic realities of the airline profession we serve and the needs
of the fine employees who work so hard for our members," added the
union in a written statement. "The hard reality remains that our
pilot members have suffered grievously these past five years.
Salary cuts, furloughs, pension losses and escalating health-care
costs make it impossible for ALPA to grant the salary increases and
health care caps Unit 2 seeks."
ALPA represents 62,000 airline pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S.