Today, Spirit pilots marked the two-year anniversary since they entered into contract negotiations, and are calling on their management to present them with a contract proposal that brings the pilots up to industry standard. Represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), 1,600 Spirit pilots fly the same aircraft on the same routes as their peers, yet the compensation is 40 percent less. Meanwhile, the airline recently celebrated 28 straight quarters of company profits.
“Spirit pilots have helped the company realize record profits, but without an industry-standard contract in place, the company may not be able to attract new pilots to carry out its growth plans,” said Captain Stuart Morrison, chair of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “Spirit pilots should not be yet another cost-saving line item at this airline.”
As part of the campaign, Spirit pilots launched print ads in the Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Detroit Free Press; digital billboards along highways in Fort Lauderdale; and social media ads in the airlines’ key hubs, including Las Vegas. The campaign calls on the company not to skimp on Spirit pilot compensation, encouraging passengers to save on tickets, not the pilots flying their aircraft.
Spirit Airlines, known for its no-frills business approach, is proposing a compensation package for its pilots that would cement the group in a low-tier wage structure; in fact, Spirit pilots are currently some of the lowest-compensated pilots in the industry. Representatives from both Spirit Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l are in Fort Worth this week for a negotiations session, where hopefully progress at the table will continue.
“We need a contract that will keep the airline competitive, profitable, and affordable and will pay Spirit pilots like other professional pilots, rather than the below-market wages we now receive,” Capt. Morrison said. “High-tier earnings should not equal low-tier pilot compensation; it’s time management recognizes that qualified, professional Spirit pilots deserve an industry-standard contract.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.