Passengers grounded in the middle of employment contract dispute

The majority of the time, when an employee and a company cannot come to terms, no one outside of the conflict is impacted. However, there are situations when California residents are directly affected by the fallout of an employment contract dispute. Such may be the case in the current disagreement between pilots and Spirit Airlines.

According to the airline, approximately 300 flights and 20,000 customers have been directly affected by the dispute in just one week. Airline officials are blaming the decisions of the pilots to refuse to take flights for the recent need to cancel many scheduled flights. It also alleges that the work slowdown is having a negative impact on the company's reputation. Accordingly, Spirit has petitioned a judge to order the pilots to return to the job as scheduled.

The Air Line Pilots Association, the union representing the pilots, has denied that the workers have taken any illegal actions regarding the dispute over the current pay rates. It stated that it is working with the pilots in order to ensure that no further flights will be impacted and that customers will be able to reach their destinations without delay. After one flight was canceled in Florida, police were called to settle the resulting brawl.

While the union denounced the actions of the airline, it denied that it has encouraged pilots to refuse to take open shifts while also stating that the two parties are far from settling the dispute over pay. While this particular conflict has resulted in others being inconvenienced, California workers are entitled to seek a remedy when they are involved in an employment contract dispute. An attorney who is skilled in employment laws may be of invaluable assistance in these matters.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Spirit Airlines Cancels Flights, Blames Pilots In Contract Dispute", May 9, 2017

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