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Spirit Airlines Chaos

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Spirit Airlines Chaos

Old 11th May 2017, 16:55
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Originally Posted by RoyHudd View Post

(And the videos of wailing and aggressive passengers makes me wonder just who they think they are.....the same often happens when flights are delayed/cancelled for technical reasons, which usually implies safety. That sort of passenger behaviour is pathetic, sometimes beneath contempt)
Regarding your last paragraph, I recall the same type of pax behaviour when People Express began in Newark in the 80's. It was a zoo. Well earned nicknames of People Distress and Air Bulgaria. Poor customer service and pax fighting for the cheapest seats and very intolerant of any disruption.

So question for the audience. Pax going ballistic over weather or technical cancellations is nothing new. Mass cancellations due to weather happen somewhat regularly and we can now add to that computer outages. Would same reaction have occurred with one of the big three?

Long time ago, but I wound up stuck in LA during the great airplane strike of 1966 severely overstaying my welcome with my Aunt. The only airline flying coast to coast where machinists didn't strike was AA. They were sold out for a year and a half into the future as were the railways. Somehow my Aunt got me a ticket (AA was adding 707s as fast as Boeing could deliver them - mine didn't even have the interior fitted out and there was a shortage of food carts, utensils, plates, etc). I don't recall civil disobedience at the airport and there were a great many frustrated people trying to get home.
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Old 11th May 2017, 18:15
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Originally Posted by WhatsaLizad? View Post
Let me translate it for you since you apparently missed it.

A company pisses off it's employees.

The employees act differently today than they did in happier times previously. They decline non-mandatory overtime and find more rewarding endeavors for their free time. Work or play? They chose play.

Most companies outside the US airline business would realize that we screwed up and the employees must be rewarded enough to make the economic choice to come to work instead of play. Capitalism at it's finest.

Not so fast in the land of the free. The scumbag airlines have adopted the tactic that instead of a commitment of respect for the negotiating process in granting new compensation agreements to keep employees happy, they have decided to use the strong arm of the law to force participation levels equal to times when the employees felt more valued. This is Stalin .

My ancestors went to war with a superpower for a less overreach of power. The airlines are using the courts to manage their business shortcomings.
Your anger is misplaced. I don't recall saying I was celebrating the fate of Spirit's pilots attempt to push forward negotiations. I was only trying to raise the reasoning for the injunction based on the rules around strike action. I get that they'd rather not take formal strike action, their problem is in what is interpreted as a violation of the labour laws.

Last edited by J.O.; 11th May 2017 at 19:39.
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Old 11th May 2017, 19:04
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Originally Posted by J.O. View Post
I was only trying to raise the reasoning for the injunction based on the rules around strike action. I get that they'd rather not take formal strike action, their problem is in what is interpreted as strike action under the labour laws.
Under the Railway Labor Act the parties are supposed to maintain the status quo during contract negotiations. The alleged work slowdown is, like a strike, a type of 'job action' but is legally different from a strike. But it does represent a violation of the status quo requirement if the judge acknowledges the open time and JA ban as an illegal work slowdown. Or, something like that. Around contract time there will be no shortage of geniuses available online to explain this stuff to a layman like me.

From the suit filed in District Court by Spirit:

The pilots are engaged in this illegal slowdown in order to bring pressure on Spirit during current negotiations for an amended collective bargaining agreement pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (“RLA”), 45 U.S.C. §151 et seq.

This slowdown is in direct violation of the RLA, which prohibits work slowdowns and strikes during collective bargaining negotiations, as expressly recognized by a series of court decisions, including by this Circuit in Delta Air Lines v. Air Line Pilots Association, International, 238 F.3d 1300 (11th Cir. 2001). Spirit has asked ALPA to fulfill its legal obligation under the RLA to take all necessary steps to end this illegal slowdown, but the union has failed effectively to do so.

Spirit therefore asks this Court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction compelling an immediate end to this illegal work slowdown.
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Old 12th May 2017, 14:14
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Things like this aren't anything new. It'd be very foolish (and surprising) for a union to actively encourage its members to act in violation of the Railway Labor Act; they can't force individual members to make choices regarding voluntary flying. Defining changes in the "status quo" gets pretty subjective.


With the internet and various av forums, pilots can "chat" among themselves, exchange opinions and make individual, personal decisions.

This is Delta's go at it in 2000:


Delta Seeks Court Order Forcing Pilot Overtime - ABC News
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Old 12th May 2017, 19:25
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
With the internet and various av forums, pilots can "chat" among themselves, exchange opinions and make individual, personal decisions.

This is Delta's go at it in 2000:
Perhaps there is a lesson in that DALPA open time ban.

From PPRuNe's sister forum APC:

While I personally agree with you, legal precedence is not so black and white. Delta sued the Union/Pilot group around 2000 when we stopped picking up open time. The company said it was an illegal change to the status quo under the RLA.

If I remember correctly the Pilots and DALPA initially won in court, but the the company appealed the case and won on appeal. So I don't think its a slam dunk for either the company or the Pilots but the standing precedent may be negative for Pilots.

And be warned that 49 individual Pilots were named as defendants partly because they left a paper/electronic trail. Its not fun to answer your door, be served, and find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit with your employer.

I personally think that if Pilots choose not to fly overtime that is their own choice but when it changes "noticeably and substantially" you are in Status-quo land.
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/2356788-post66.html

First off I agree with you 100% about forcing you to work, and I argued the same things with my union reps at DAL. They told me what I am now telling you. The issue is not what you as an individual do, but what the group collectively does. This is fairly easy for the company to prove even without the paper/electronic trail that has already been promulgated.
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/2356853-post71.html

Former FedEx Captain Claude Barnhart has some relevant experience with what you can legally say on union forums from two decades ago. His fiery rhetoric got him fired (I sent some money to help with his legal defense) and he never got his job back.
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Old 12th May 2017, 20:09
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Yep, it's a minefield...in a quagmire. ;-))
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Old 14th May 2017, 02:09
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Looks like the open time and JA ban is over for now. Unless perhaps there are some 'vigilantes' willing to risk crossing a federal judge, we'll see. DALPA and APA have some experience in this area as I recall.

Spirit, pilots agree to extend court order barring slowdown as disruptions persist

May 11, 2017

Arlene Satchell
Sun Sentinel

As flight disruptions continued to hamper Spirit Airlines on Thursday, the company and its pilots union announced an agreement to indefinitely extend a court order barring a slowdown by members of its cockpit crews.

The agreement dictates that the pilots must restore “the status quo” while Spirit and the Air Line Pilots Association International continue federally mediated contract negotiations.

The restraining order will remain in effect until a collective bargaining agreement is signed and ratified or, if applicable, the parties are released from mediation by the National Mediation Board, Spirit said.

The unionized pilots are not on strike.

Since the initial order was granted Monday by a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, ALPA has petitioned the Spirit pilots to resume picking up open flying time, which is basically over time above their already scheduled flights.

“On behalf of our customers and fellow Spirit team members, we really appreciate the effort of our pilots who are taking on open flying to restore the operation,” said John Bendoraitis, Spirit’s chief operating officer.

On Monday, the low-cost carrier filed a lawsuit against the union and selected representatives alleging a week long pilots’ work slowdown had caused approximately 300 flight cancellations and displaced more than 20,000 customers.

The Miramar-based carrier said the slowdown resulted in about $8.5 million in lost revenue and caused “irreparable harm to its goodwill.”

Spirit alleged the pilots’ action was an attempt to influence current labor negotiations, and said it “reluctantly filed this suit to protect” its customers and operations.

On Tuesday, in communications to Spirit’s nearly 1,600 pilots, the union urged them to adhere to the court order and work to return the airline’s operations to normal.

“You must resume your normal working schedule and practices: pick up open time flying and accept junior assignment flying,” the ALPA notice said. “So that we are clear: you must immediately cease and desist from any concerted refusal to conduct pilot operations in the normal manner, including regarding picking up open time, accepting junior assignment flying and answering calls from crew scheduling, and to cease and desist from any and all other refusals to perform normal pilot operations.”
Spirit, pilots agree to extend court order barring slowdown as disruptions persist - Sun Sentinel
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