Release #: FFT 17.11
Frontierbadbargain.com, animal ads take pilot message to public
DENVER—More than 350 Frontier pilots, flight attendants, and pilots from other airlines picketed outside Denver’s City and County Building as well as Denver International Airport today as contract talks between Frontier Airlines and its pilots stall. The pilots are publicly alerting passengers that they are 100 percent ready to strike and may ask the federal government to declare that negotiations are at an impasse—a move that could start the clock toward a potential legal strike.
“Our latest round of negotiations in Washington, D.C., last week was a slap in the face from management. As Frontier continues to upstream hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to its private shareholders, it refuses to repay concessions pilots have made or offer pay in line with that of our peers,” said Capt. Tracy Smith, chairman of the Frontier Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA). “Their goal seems to be to keep our pay as low as they can, for as long as they can. That is intolerable to us.”
The Frontier pilots have launched a new public website, frontierbadbargain.com, to give passengers more information about the negotiations. The public campaign also includes paid advertising on Facebook, travel websites, and colorful highway billboards near Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Greeley. In a nod to the airline’s distinctive livery, the ads feature hawks, bears, owls, and other animals.
Smith warned that Frontier won’t be able to sustain its aggressive expansion plans if its pilots continue to be paid up to 40 percent less than pilots at similar airlines.
“Frontier is leaving us out in the cold as the lowest-paid pilots in North America. They claim they can’t pay us, but the owners are ready to spend $19 billion on new airplanes,” Smith said. “The only way they will be able to attract and retain professional pilots is by bargaining a competitive contract.”
ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll said, “ALPA believes that it’s time to find out whether the Company is going to agree to a market-rate contract. The National Mediation Board plays an important role in balancing the interests of employees and employers to help produce a new agreement.”
“We hope to meet soon with the NMB to detail the extraordinary efforts ALPA has put forth to forge a new agreement and to preview our request for a declaration of an impasse,” Canoll said.
If the NMB finds that further mediation is fruitless and the parties are at an impasse, it will offer binding arbitration to both parties. If the union or the company rejects arbitration, the parties will enter a 30-day cooling-off period. Following the cooling-off period, the pilots are free to strike.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org