Despite the good news continuously coming from the pandemic recovery, setbacks are inevitable. While the industry relentlessly climbs out of the cellar to spark exploration once again, one company faces more obstacles. Alaska Airlines sees a possible strike coming as pilots vote on the prospect.
Pilots of Alaska Airlines to Vote on a Strike
The pilot’s strike isn’t a move that happens quickly. The pilots union will vote through much of May. An Alaska Airlines spokesperson admits the company believes it is an inevitability.
“While talk of a ‘strike’ is concerning, especially for guests and the communities that rely on us, they don’t happen quickly or without significant advance notice,” said the spokesperson. “We’re confident we can get a deal through mediation and believe in this process because it has worked for airlines for decades.”
Even though the pilots will decide this month, the industry won’t feel the fallout immediately. The company could still strike a deal before pilots would officially strike.
“Alaska pilots are not looking to strike,” said Capt. Will McQuillen, chairman of the Alaska Airlines ALPA MEC in April. “We are looking for improvements to our contract in line with the market, but that will also allow our company to grow and remain successful and competitive. However, we are willing to take any lawful steps necessary, including a legal strike, to achieve the contract every Alaska pilot has earned.”
April Was a Month Building to Something
Thousands of travelers faced delays and re-routes as a domino of cancellations affected airports throughout April. Alaska claimed an industry-wide pilot shortage paired with a backlog of training programs caused the issues. The airline announced a 2% reduction in total flights through June. Regardless of if they go on strike, this is only the beginning of the problematic fallout from the pandemic disruption.