Mesa Pilots Sue Alleging Railway Labor Act Violations

4 Mar

Washington, D.C.—Mesa Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), filed a lawsuit against Mesa Airlines Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The lawsuit alleges that Mesa bypassed the collective bargaining process required by the Railway Labor Act (“RLA”) by implementing bonus and incentive programs without first reaching agreement with the pilots through their union.

“We filed this lawsuit today because every pilot at Mesa deserves to be paid fairly in accordance with our seniority,” said Capt. Andy Hughes, ALPA Mesa Airlines chairman. “By rewarding certain pilots through these non-collectively bargained programs, management is creating a divided pilot group and subverting the bargaining process. Mesa pilots are demanding that the company return to negotiations and focus on contractual improvements that reward all pilots.” Currently, Mesa pilots have been in negotiations with airline management for more than six years, seeking a contract that is in line with those at similar carriers.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the airline unilaterally began offering an incentive compensation program to attract new hire first offices; a “Holiday Season Pilot Perfect Attendance Program” and an “Enhanced Pilot Referral Program” without first exhausting the RLA’s mandatory bargaining process, thereby violating the status quo. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and, “A judgment awarding additional relief, as determined by the Court, including monetary relief, as may be appropriate to fully remedy the violations of the RLA by Mesa and its infringement of the rights of the Mesa pilots, as represented by ALPA”.

Download a copy of the complaint and its exhibits: ALPA, Int’l v. Mesa Airlines (complaint)