WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 1224 filed a lawsuit against Allegiant Air Friday afternoon, November 15, in the federal district court in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The lawsuit alleges that Allegiant Air is violating the Railway Labor Act by disregarding many of the provisions and protections contained in the Work Rules Agreement negotiated by Allegiant Air and AAPAG, the former independent union representing the pilots of Allegiant Air.
"Filing a federal lawsuit against Allegiant Air is not something we take pleasure in doing," said Local 1224 President Daniel C. Wells. "It was a difficult decision and it is unfortunate that it had to come to this. However, when an employer simply chooses to ignore negotiated work rules as a daily practice, sometimes the only recourse a labor union has in defending the rights of an employee group is to file a lawsuit."
Allegiant Air's decision to unilaterally implement a preferential bid system, in violation of the existing scheduling rules, is one of the matters raised in the lawsuit. The pilots' union contends that this is just the latest example in a long list of Allegiant Air's disregard of the negotiated agreement that was reached with AAPAG."Allegiant Air and its top management have broken faith with their pilots; reaching agreements with the pilots and then violating those commitments at the first opportunity," added Wells. "The company's violation of current scheduling rules is a good case in point." Every carrier in the industry, including Allegiant Air, has known for nearly 18 months that it would be required to comply with new pilot fatigue rules beginning this January. Unlike other carriers whose pilots are represented by Teamsters Local 1224, though, Allegiant Air waited until this past summer to begin formulating a plan to comply with the new safety rules. The delayed response to the mandate created a false crisis which has been used as rationale to disregard the agreement held with the pilots.