Allegiant Air pilots to vote on joining Teamsters union

An Allegiant Air jet takes off from McCarran International Airport on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has filed an application with the National Mediation Board for a union representation vote of the pilots of Allegiant Air.

The 109-year-old union, which represents 1.4 million workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, turned in enough authorization cards to request an election.

Stephen Nagrotsky, deputy director of the airline division of the Teamsters union, said dates have yet to be set for an election.

Under new National Mediation Board rules, a majority of voters who cast ballots will determine if the union would be selected to represent the 363 pilots, who fly twin-engine MD-80 and Boeing 757 jets.

Previously, the board required a majority of qualified voters, meaning employees who didn’t vote were counted as votes against representation.

A representative of the board said she expects the election, normally conducted over several days, would occur in four to six weeks.

“We are honored to have been asked by the pilots of Allegiant Air to meet with them and explain the benefits of representation by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the airline division,” Capt. David Bourne, director of the airline division, said in a release issued by the union on Monday.

“The overwhelmingly positive response we received in meetings and the outstanding response to the card drive is a testament to the dedication of the Allegiant Air pilots,” he said.

Representatives of Allegiant Travel Co., parent company of Allegiant Air, acknowledged notification from the Mediation Board.

“We strongly believe that Allegiant’s success is attributable in large part to our pilots and the direct, open relationship we have with them,” Allegiant Chairman and CEO Maurice Gallagher said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring a fair election and we are confident Allegiant pilots will cast their votes based on the facts and not rush to judgment based on (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) propaganda.”

It’s the first union vote for pilots at Allegiant Air.

In December 2010, the airline’s flight attendants voted 220-137 to approve representation by the Transport Workers Union, becoming the first work group in the airline’s history to open a union shop. That vote came four years after flight attendants rejected representation by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

A month after the flight attendants approved the TWU, the airline’s tiny dispatcher work group rejected representation from that union in a 6-6 vote.



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  1. If Allegiant pilots want to keep flying, they need to get as far away from the Teamsters as they can. The union contract will drive up the airline's costs to bankruptcy levels. Then who wins?

  2. From what I read, they should be trying to join a 12 step program.

    Why not kill off another airline. You know, most of the guidelines governing airlines and pilots are Federal. You should not need union representation for anything that has a federal guideline. LOL