November 10, 2009 at 1:04 PM HST - Updated June 21 at 5:21 AM
HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Hawaiian Airlines has a new union contract. Dispatchers, members of the transport workers union, ratified a four year agreement in which operational efficiencies pay for wage increases.
The TWU is a major union, but this is a small bargaining unit. Hawaiian only employs thirty-one dispatchers. But it trumpeted the new contract, and the news release twice referred to an earlier agreement with the larger bargaining unit, the association of flight attendants.
There is a hidden message here so let me decode it for you. In bargaining with all its unions, Hawaiian has sought work rule changes, essentially inviting employees to buy wages with operational efficiencies. The flight attendants and the dispatchers thought was an acceptable idea. The dispatchers got wages, benefit improvements, and profit-sharing.
Bringing up the flight attendants appears to be a message to other unions, urging them to settle under similar terms. The IAM, representing mechanics and customer service workers, is in mediated contract talks now. The air line pilots association recently applied to be granted an official declaration of impasse.