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Spirit Airlines Labor Issue Settled

New labor contract ratified by Spirit Airlines pilots

Jul 25, 2010

Pilots at Spirit Airlines, who staged a walkout in June that grounded flights at the low-fare carrier for nearly a week, ratified a new contract that includes "substantial" pay increases, their union said on Friday.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said in a statement the five-year contract boosts hourly wages an average of 10 percent for captains and 18 percent for first officers, and provides a signing bonus for the entire pilot group.

The union said 96 percent of eligible Spirit pilots voted on the pact, with 74 percent approving it.

Spirit pilots, who began bargaining for a new contract in October 2006, went on strike on June 12 after U.S.-mediated contract talks failed to bridge differences, grounding flights at the privately held carrier for six days. A tentative accord was reached on June 16.

The strike at Spirit Airlines was the first notable job action at a U.S. passenger airline since Northwest Airlines mechanics walked off the job in 2005. Northwest was acquired by Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) in 2008.

Miramar, Florida-based Spirit operates more than 150 flights a day, mainly to the eastern United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. It carries less than 1 percent of U.S. air-passenger traffic.

New labor contract ratified by Spirit Airlines pilots
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Source: Reuters

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