Spirit resumes contract talks with striking pilots

Washington DC
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Pilots and Spirit Airline management are back at the negotiating table today in an effort to resolve their contract dispute and end a strike that began 12 June.

Both parties are meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida working with the US National Mediation Board (NMB), says the Air Line Pilots Association. ALPA is the union that represents Spirit pilots.

Meanwhile, Spirit has extended cancellation of all its flights through 17 June. The low cost carrier says it is processing full credit to customers for their flight purchases and offering a $100 credit for future flights.

Today, ALPA took a swipe at Spirit for publicly stating that its latest offer would have yielded a compounded average 29% pay increase over the next five years at cost to the company of $70 million. ALPA says the offer would not bring Spirit pilot salaries up to industry standard for five years.

The union also contends that the company's last minute proposal would force pilots to work more hours and pay more for health care.

"Moreover, Spirit management should focus its energy at the bargaining table instead of negotiating in the news media," says Andy Nelson vice-chairman of Spirit's ALPA unit.