ALPA reports in its "Fast Read" online that Thirty-three pilots
from Rockford, Ill.-based Ryan International Airlines returned to
work on February 13th after being illegally furloughed less than
two weeks earlier. The airline said the move was due to a company
cash shortfall. The furloughees—almost a quarter of the
active pilots on RYN’s seniority list, including two-thirds
of the MEC officers—got their jobs back thanks to a quickly
drafted letter of agreement, which was ratified by 96 percent of
the pilot group in less than 36 hours.
These members of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l,
were furloughed, along with more than 125 flight attendants and
other employees, on Feb. 1. The furloughs were made out of
seniority order and without warning in violation of the
pilots’ contract. But by Feb. 10 negotiators had completed
the LOA, and after a short but successful communications blitz to
educate pilots of the details, it was approved the next day, Feb.
The furlough LOA will reduce work days and minimum guarantees
for one bid period and postpone a planned pilot pay increase for
several months to help Ryan conserve cash until its military
charter flying picks up as expected this summer. In addition to
bringing the 33 pilots back to work, the group also negotiated a
new long-call reserve provision, one of the MEC’s goals in
its current Section 6 negotiations with management.