Published 25 Sep, 2013
LAS VEGAS – Delegates and union activists from the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 24th Constitutional Convention will gather for informational picketing at Allegiant Air headquarters in Las Vegas this coming Thursday, September 26 at 3:30 pm (PDT).
TWU members, who will wear t-shirts highlighting Allegiant’s “Delayed Service, Cancelled Routes and Abandoned Cities,” are concerned about ongoing customer service issues at the Las Vegas-based discount carrier. Union delegates also will protest the failure of airline management to reach a labor agreement with more than 600 flight attendants who are members of TWU Local 577.
Who: Delegates and union activists from the TWU convention
What: Informational picketing and rally
Where: Allegiant Air headquarters, 8360 South Durango, Las Vegas
When: Thursday, Sept. 26th, 3:30 pm Pacific Time
“It’s wonderful to have the support of so many of our TWU brothers and sisters from around the country,” said Debra Peterson Barber, an Allegiant flight attendant and Las Vegas-based flight attendant who serves as the lead negotiator for TWU Local 577. “Everyone who works in transportation knows that customer service is the key to success, and we all want to see Allegiant ready to deliver the best possible travel experience for our passengers.”
Allegiant customers have endured reported mechanical failures and other events in recent months that have caused inconvenience, emergency landings and delays of up to 52 hours. The airline, which offers discount fares to vacation destinations, is also reported to add fees for items like using a credit card when buying a ticket.
Earlier this month, Allegiant grounded more than 50 of its airplanes to inspect emergency slide equipment. The action was taken after an emergency evacuation of an Allegiant flight on a runway in Peoria, Illinois, when one of four emergency slides did not deploy properly. Following the incident, an inquiry by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found that Allegiant was not overhauling emergency slides more than 15 years old on an annual basis. Annual overhaul, as opposed to past practice of once every three years, has been recommended by slide manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace since 2007.
“We are glad that Allegiant, as directed by the FAA, is taking prompt action to ensure the safety of our customers and flight crews,” said TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel. “Everyone in our union and in Allegiant management agrees that safety must be our number one priority.” “In that same spirit, we’ll be at Allegiant headquarters on Thursday to urge prompt action on a first contract for Allegiant flight attendants,” McDaniel said. “With a signed agreement in place, our members will be empowered as full partners to ensure safe, affordable travel for our passengers and help this airline succeed.” The informational picketing at Allegiant headquarters airport is not a work stoppage, or a request for any individual or group to take action.
A majority of Allegiant flight attendants voted for union representation in December 2010. Union representatives began negotiations with company officials in June of 2011. More than two years later, Allegiant has yet to reach a first contract agreement with flight attendants. Additional information is available at WillAllegiantBeThere.org