HONOLULU--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Hawaiian Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have ratified a new five-year, three-month contract worth $1.2 billion and containing 42 percent more value than the existing pilot working agreement (PWA).
Of the 97 percent of the pilots who voted, 76 percent cast ballots in favor of the agreement, which will take effect on April 1. The new PWA includes substantial pay raises and improved work rules, while leaving in place favorable vacation flexibility, sick leave accrual, and pilot-friendly health-care premiums.
The agreement includes pay rates backdated to September 2015 that will immediately increase pay for the airline’s 665 pilots between 20 to 45 percent, depending on an individual pilot’s seat, years of service, and aircraft type. By the end of the contract in 2022, overall pay rates will have increased between 36 and 86 percent.
A unique feature of the agreement is a new voluntary employees’ beneficiary association, or VEBA, that will replace Hawaiian’s industry-leading retiree health-care program. The company will contribute over $100 million to fund the VEBA, which will be privately administered by a pilot-run board of directors and provides that retiree health benefits will continue even if the airline changes hands.
The new contact will also harmonize the airline’s bankruptcy-era pilot retirement programs, bringing all pilots under a single retirement plan by 2022.
“With this agreement, Hawaiian pilots have finally achieved pay rates that bring us to parity with the other major carriers we compete with worldwide,” said Capt. Daniel Moore, vice chairman of ALPA’s Hawaiian Airlines Master Executive Council. “It is a world-class contract for a world-class airline and should make Hawaiian an attractive destination for new pilots. We are looking forward to helping the company continue its unparalleled record of success.”
Hawaiian opened negotiations with ALPA in March 2015, and the pilot contract became amendable in September 2015. The airline had its most profitable year ever in 2016, and its stock is near its all-time high.
“The Hawaiian Airlines pilots’ vote to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement demonstrates the tremendous progress made possible when pilots stand united. We congratulate the Hawaiian pilot leaders and the entire pilot group on this achievement,” said ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll (Delta).
“This new contract embodies ALPA’s determined effort to help ensure that our members share in the success of their companies, regardless of whether they fly for mainline, regional, or cargo operations, and that our industry continues to attract the best and brightest. Whether walking the informational picket lines to support a pilot group in contract negotiations or calling to block unfair foreign competition, ALPA pilots stand unified in our efforts to advance our profession,” Canoll said.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.