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JetBlue Pilots Call for Contract Tout Suite

The Erosion of Temperance

JetBlue Airways pilots and representatives of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) met with JetBlue management this week in hopes of negotiating a short-term contract extension comprising economic improvements consistent with long-standing pilot demands.

The coming month will see two additional bargaining sessions during which union representatives will prevail upon JetBlue management to recognize the immense contributions JetBlue pilots made to the airline’s success during the unprecedentedly turbulent COVID epoch and its chaotic aftermath.

JetBlue ALPA chair Captain Chris Kenney remarked: “While JetBlue management looks toward a merger, JetBlue pilots must first receive the contract they have earned. It is completely reasonable for JetBlue to deliver compensation improvements before the end of the year—just as JetBlue pilots delivered for JetBlue over the past several years.”

Captain Kenney added that he expects a deal to be reached in December, stating: “We have every expectation that we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement with the Company at these next negotiating sessions. There should be no delay for a contract now.”

In October, JetBlue pilots proposed to management that the difficult and resource-consuming bargaining issues typical of a full contract negotiation be temporarily deferred in favor of a short-term contract extension that would grant pilots certain economic improvements. Such a conceit would allow airmen to avail themselves of the opportunities inherent an industry faced with an ostensible pilot shortage while affording JetBlue management occasion to devote resources to running a quality operation and pursue the company’s aspiration to merge with Spirit Airlines.

The labor contract to which JetBlue pilots are beholden became amendable on 01 August 2022, and the refocused negotiations—for purpose of hammering out a contract extension by year’s end—have been limited to key monetary issues.

In a statement addressing the numerous pilot contract negotiations in which it’s presently embroiled, ALPA asserted: “It’s way past time for the CEOs of these companies to recognize our contributions when they come to the bargaining table. Like passengers, pilots have had enough. Today, we face new threats, like airlines that are overscheduling and trying to circumvent airline safety regulations, all on top of record flight delays and cancellations. Despite a strong recovery and significant profits, airlines continue to ignore the simple reality that their business plans won’t fly without the pilots on-board.”



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