The deadline was established by the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) negotiations. Once released from the National Mediation Board (NMB), the pilots will have the right to “self-help,” which includes the right to strike.
In protest of the slow negotiations, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) plan to gather at the site of the United Continental Holdings annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday. The pilots have been working under a 9-year old bankruptcy contract.
On May 11, 2012, ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak, requested that the NMB “assist the parties to bring about an agreement by proffering arbitration.” If the arbitration is not accepted by both parties, then the NMB would release the ALPA from the talks and allow the union to “self-help.”
Under “self-help,” then union would be allowed to take lawful action, including a strike, following a thirty-day cooling off period. The pilots are hot happy with the pace of the negotiations.
The two sides requested a mediator in December 2010, and efforts to mediate began in February 2011. The two sides have been mediating since that date.