ATI Pilots Announce Strike Authorization Vote

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Nearing three and a half years in negotiations with no agreement, the Air Transport International (ATI) pilots have grown increasingly impatient with a management that has failed to seriously engage on a market-based contract. Today the ATI pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), announced they will open a strike authorization vote on Monday, October 30.

“The decision to call for a strike authorization vote is the result of years at the bargaining table, and months of federally mediated negotiations, with no meaningful movement by the Company on big-ticket items including compensation and retirement,” said Capt. Mike Sterling, chair of the ATI Master Executive Council. “Our pilots cannot continue to operate under an outdated contract, making less than they did last year in increasingly worsening conditions.” 

ATI has faced alarming pilot attrition over the last two years as pilot groups across the industry achieve significant gains in contract negotiations, making the grass greener at other carriers. Year-to-date, 191 pilots have left ATI. With just over 600 pilots on the seniority list, that number represents a staggering 30 percent of the airline’s pilots.

“Every day without an industry-standard contract more ATI pilots are choosing to leave for airlines that recognize the value of professional pilots with competitive contracts and better quality of life,” said Capt. Sterling. “Those of us here today are fighting for the change that will make our airline a career destination for pilots once again.”

A strike authorization vote would permit ALPA to call a strike once legally permitted. Under U.S. law, pilots cannot walk off the job until the National Mediation Board grants them permission. The Board must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate. If either side declines, both parties enter a 30-day “cooling off” period, after which pilots and management can engage in self-help. This includes a strike by the union or a lockout by management.




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