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Hawaiian Airlines pilots vote to authorize strike

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    Hawaiian Airlines pilots conducted informational picketing on two different levels of the interisland terminal at the Honolulu Airport on March 16.

Hawaiian Airlines’ unionized pilots voted to authorize a strike if they are unable to agree with management on a new contract.

The Air Line Pilots Association said today in a news release, “almost 98 percent of the pilot group voted, and of those voting, 99 percent voted to support the strike.”

Unions can take a strike authorization vote as a way to put pressure on management during contract negotiations. The vote does not mean a strike is likely to happen.

Hoon Lee, chairman of the ALPA unit at Hawaiian Airlines, said, “We absolutely do not want to go on strike, but if that’s what it takes to get a market-rate contract, our pilots have told us loud and clear that they will stand together and take that final step.”

Hawaiian Airlines said in a news release, “ALPA is asking for a 52 percent increase in total compensation in the first year of its contract. The value of that increase is $74 million – for a workforce of roughly 600.”

“Our pilots are very well compensated,” the airline said. “For example, a top-of-scale Hawaiian Airlines wide body Captain, who has 12 years of seniority in the company, earns an average $242,000 annually for flying 700 hours a year.” Pilots also get medical coverage for life for retirees and their spouses and contributions of between 15 and 19.4 percent annually to their 401 (k) plan, the airline said.

Lee said the 700 hours is only a fraction of the time pilots spend away from home while working for Hawaiian. Lee also said a beginning pilot at Hawaiian makes $36 an hour.

Hawaiian pilots are making “45 percent less than our peers and the gap is growing,” Lee said.

“We want a market-rate contract,” he said. “We just want to be respected and we want a fair contract.”

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  • Top pilots are overpaid, junior pilots are underpaid. Pilot pay disparity is a problem. But top pilots want more, and costs will be passed to consumers.

    • You are exactly right. Unfortunately that has how ALPA has allow thier union to be run. The senior pilots get the best bid lines and are the last to be furloughed. “We have paid our dues” as the seniors would say. Being a junior pilot is not a glamorous life.

    • If they have to raise prices to pay their pilots, then so be it. But the company can’t go on without pilots.

      Hopefully, the company will agree to take a cut in their revenue to help raise pilot salaries instead of increasing their ticket prices.

    • Sad to say Hawaiian’s red headed, snot nosed, spoiled brat children are whining like they were gut shot. What a bunch of sorry individuals.

      Making more than enough pay for the hours the work, spend on training. They all volunteered for this job knowing full well how it works.

      At least Hawaii got smart with 401k plans so no money pit defined benefit pension costs.

      Would you sorry pilots like some cheese with your whine?

  • We do not need unions any more, they are a outdated relic, with such childish antics like this. Come on gang, get your act together I gotta get to the mainland this summer.

  • Unions are what keeps the playing field level. You are blind if you don’t see that multibillion dollar businesses like Mcdonalds and Domino’s Pizza pay minimum wage and benefits to increase their profit margins. Do your research that it is a fact that as unions struggle so does the middle class.

    • Do you do stand up work? That’s some good stuff. The so called middle class owe nothing to unions but many are owed $$ forcibly taken by required union membership. 15% of any one population does not have much more than a minimal impact.

    • Company is being greedy. They are making lots and lot of money. Too bad they don’t want to share with the pilots flying their planes.
      Look at Dunkerly’s pay (with massive stock benefits). The pilots are starting to jump ship and go over to United, UPS American, etc. They
      all pay 50% more now.

        • With the pay and benefits at all the major airlines, you won’t see anyone come crying back.

      • Just curious, why shouldn’t Dunkerly make the pay he does? There are hundreds of pilots, but only one CEO and President.

        Sorry, maybe I’m not remembering correctly, but aren’t you usually here bashing unions, so why then are you changing your tune now? I’m no union fan, so I agree that they are dinosaurs, but that’s all of them, HGEA, pilots, MLB all of them…not just selective ones

  • Give them fair market value. But as a consumer, I say if it comes to it, let a judge order the pilots to work while things are being hashed out. Unfortunate, but the price we have paid for letting them kill the Superferry and Aloha AIrlines.

  • HAL is ruled by the Wall Street mafia, HA pilots coerced by the union mafia. Ultimately, we are all the ones paying the price. I wish Alaska, Southwest or someone else with a little muscle can expand their routes to cover interisland Hawaii and intercontinental routes. They gotta have bankroll to tolerate the early tough times, but as soon as they can establish their presence.. Hawaiian won’t be the only one in the skies. As of this moment, only Hawaiian and Allegiant have the direct flights to Vegas. All the other carries gotta stop at LAX or SFO. Omni flies too but that is the Vacations Hawaii package. Southwest… we want you here!!

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