Allegiant Air flight attendants seek arbitration from National Mediation Board

Having failed for six years to negotiate a contract, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) of America, AFL-CIO, which is representing Allegiant Air’s flight attendants, has requested the help of its mediator, the National Mediation Board (NMB), in preventing a strike. The union recently sent a letter to NMB asking for a proffer of binding arbitration.

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The union recently sent a letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB), asking for help in preventing a strike.

“The TWU does not make this request lightly,” TWU International President John Samuelsen said. “Our only goal here is to win these flight attendants a fair contract – which would enhance, not harm – the ability of Allegiant to operate successfully.”

TWU and Allegiant began negotiations in 2012, but have not come close to ratifying a new contract. If both sides accept the proffer of binding arbitration, a 30- day cooling off period would begin. If neither party accepts the offer, NMB can issue a release under the Railway Labor Act. This, TWU believes, is enough to cause change.

TWU blames Allegiant for the failed negotiations, saying the company will not accept any agreement the union has offered.

During the negotiation process, Allegiant has changed its part-time procedures and its bidding process and reduced commissions for flight attendants from eight percent to two percent.

The flight attendants have said they request benefits and schedules that are similar to those offered to pilots.