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Alaska’s Pilots Ratify New Contract

SEATTLE--()--Alaska Airlines’ pilots on Wednesday approved a new, five-year contract. With nearly 94 percent of 1,343 eligible voters casting a ballot, 67 percent voted in favor of the agreement. The agreement increases pay by nearly 20 percent over the life of the agreement and contains job security and work rule improvements. It also protects the pilots’ retirement and insurance benefits.

“This agreement improved and protected the four cornerstones of our contract—pay, job security, work rules, and benefits—in a way that allows the pilots to share in our company’s prosperity and allows our company to continue to succeed”

“This agreement improved and protected the four cornerstones of our contract—pay, job security, work rules, and benefits—in a way that allows the pilots to share in our company’s prosperity and allows our company to continue to succeed,” said Capt. Chris Notaro, chairman of the Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l.

It is particularly significant that the pilots and Alaska management reached agreement on a new contract a little more than a month beyond the last agreement’s April 1, 2013, amendable date. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire, they only become amendable, and it is common for negotiations to last for years beyond the amendable date. The parties’ full negotiating teams began meeting in summer 2012.

“The pilots and management both approached these negotiations with the mindset that they wanted to change the paradigm of protracted negotiations. The fact that we were able to reach an agreement in a timely manner is a product of a mutual commitment to find terms that would work for both the pilots and for the company,” Notaro said.

Alaska’s pilots and management now will begin the process of implementing the new agreement and preparing to discuss changes needed to accommodate new flight-time/duty-time rules that are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 4, 2014.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the 1,480 pilots at Alaska Airlines.

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