Represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Alaska Airlines pilots have agreed to authorize a strike should talks with management fail to reach an agreement. 

After three years of unsuccessfully discussions with their management to reach a contract agreement, union leaders have voted unanimously to conduct a strike-authorization ballot among their pilots.

A ballot for authorizing the industrial action began on May 9, 2022 and closed on May 25, 2022.

According to ALPA, an “overwhelming” 99% of the Alaska Airlines pilots authorized union leaders to call a strike if necessary, and if the National Mediation Board (NMB) gives the group permission to strike.

“For three years, Alaska pilots have been resolved in their commitment to reach a new agreement and today, we spoke with one unified voice, just like we did with our recent informational picketing event,” chairman of the Alaska Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council Will McQuillen said in a statement. “For years, we have been working toward a market-based contract with reasonable solutions that address work rules, scheduling flexibility, and career-security issues that pilots at other companies enjoy, not a strike. Now is the time for management to respond and engage constructively at the bargaining table.”

ALPA said that before a strike can take place, the NMB must first make the conclusion that additional mediation efforts between union and management would not be productive.

The NBM will also offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate the contract dispute. And if either side declines the arbitration, both parties enter a 30-day “cooling off” period, after which two possibilities will occur: a strike by the union or a lockout by management.

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Alaska Airlines pilots are given two weeks to vote on authorizing a strike after 3 years of failure to come to a contract agreement.