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Allegiant, dispatchers come to terms on collective bargaining agreement

Two years after negotiations began, Allegiant Airlines and its dispatchers have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The first approved contract between Allegiant and the 34 dispatchers represented by the International Brotherhood Teamsters will become effective on May 1 and carries a five-year term, Allegiant announced Thursday. Terms of the contract were not released.

“We applaud the efforts of all who came to the negotiating table to craft this agreement,” Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., Allegiant chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “This is an excellent example of all parties collaborating effectively and with great dedication, resulting in a contract that supports our team members, keeps us competitive across the industry and enables company goals.

With dispatchers carrying out a vital day-to-day function for the airline, the airline is pleased to have the agreement taken care of after a two-year-long effort.

“Our team of dispatchers is at the core of Allegiant’s operation,” said Michael Wuerger, vice president, operations control center. “They keep our flights, crews and passengers moving safely and efficiently in real time. We appreciate the dedication they bring to work each day, and with today’s agreement, look towards a bright future together.”

The process of negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement for Allegiant dispatchers began in 2017. The parties resumed negotiations in January 2019 following the failed ratification of a prior tentative agreement reached between the parties in May 2018.

Capt. David Bourne, director of the Teamsters airline division, expressed relief when a tentative agreement was struck last month.

“I’m proud of our dispatchers,” Bourne said in a statement then. “I’m glad we’ve been able to work productively with the company to get these negotiations to this point.”

The IBT also represents Allegiant’s pilots, who are in their own negotiations with the airline regarding scheduling.

Upset with Allegiant’s updating of its scheduling system, Teamsters Local 1224, which represents Allegiant pilots, commissioned eight billboards across the Las Vegas Valley reading: “Allegiant Air, Stop the Unfair Labor Practices. Stop Testing Our Patience.”

The billboards have been on display since Dec. 1.

The billboards stem from an ongoing issue regarding how Allegiant schedules its pilots — through a system not based on seniority. That has led to senior pilots not receiving days off they requested, as the Allegiant system, unlike most air carriers, requires that all pilots be at a particular base airport regardless of seniority, the union said.

Allegiant officials said there was no update on the pilot talks. The Teamsters did not immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the negotiations.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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