BusinessThe looming threat of a strike in the airline industry amid surging...

The looming threat of a strike in the airline industry amid surging travel demand

During talks with corporate executives about new job contracts, North American pilots and flight attendants lobby for improved pay and working conditions.

Some union members have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract cannot be reached. The strong posture comes as the airline sector in the United States tries to increase worker numbers to match a boom in travel demand.

The following firms’ contract discussions are currently in progress:


On August 21, American Airlines pilots accepted a new contract with more than $9.6 billion in total pay and benefits increases over four years.


Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) announced in May that its members had endorsed a strike mandate. It also stated that 98% of its members voted, with 99% in favour of sanctioning a strike.


In March, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) announced that Delta pilots had ratified a new contract that includes nearly $7 billion in cumulative compensation and benefits increases over four years.

The new contract, which applies to 15,000 Delta pilots, includes a 34% cumulative pay rise, a lump sum one-time payment, lower health insurance rates, and enhancements to holiday pay, vacation, corporate contributions to 401(k), and work rules.

AC.TO (Air Canada)

As talks over a new contract covering 4,500 pilots at Canada’s largest carrier continue, Air Canada pilots protested on September 29 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, demanding greater pay and benefits.


According to a copy obtained by Reuters on May 26, WestJet Airlines pilots would receive a 24% hourly boost over four years and additional pay and benefits as part of a tentative agreement reached in May.

The tentative agreement was reached less than 24 hours before the scheduled strike at Canada’s second-largest carrier by Onex Corp’s (ONEX.TO) WestJet and ALPA.


United Airlines pilots have ratified a new four-year contract that includes a considerable pay rise and other benefits, according to the union representing the pilots on September 29.

The pilots will receive a total pay raise of 34.5% to 40.2% in the new four-year contract, improved work-life balance, sick leave, work rules, and vacation, and an increase in retirement benefits for United’s 16,000 pilots.


ALPA announced in January that Spirit Airlines pilots voted to ratify a new contract.

According to the union representing the airline’s pilots, 69% voted in favour of the new collective bargaining agreement, which promises an economic gain of $463 million, or 27%, over the next two years.


ALPA announced in January that JetBlue Airways pilots had overwhelmingly endorsed a two-year contract extension.

ALPA, representing more than 4,600 JetBlue pilots, reported that 75% of the pilots voted in favor of ratifying the agreement, including a 21.5% pay rise over 18 months and other monetary benefits.


FedEx pilots have rejected a draft contract agreement with the package delivery business, and the two parties will begin discussions, most likely under the supervision of the National Mediation Board, according to the corporation and the pilots’ union, on July 24.


On October 19, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union announced that it had reached a provisional agreement with National Airlines.

The agreement calls for pay increases across the board, including two annual raises for the first nine years of work for most flight attendants, among other benefits.

The IAM represents around 55 flight attendants at the Orlando-based airline.


On Monday, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said that over 2,000 Air Transat flight attendants overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike mandate.

The strike mandate was accepted by an almost unanimous vote of 99.8% following 33 negotiations that began in April.

Nathan Enzo
Nathan Enzo
A professional writer since 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Nathan Enzo ran the creative writing department for the major News Channels until 2018. He then worked as a Senior content writer with, including national newspapers, magazines, and online work. He specializes in media studies and social communications.


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