HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 300 Hawaiian Airlines pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association picketed outside Honolulu International Airport on Wednesday to voice their frustration over what they claim is the airline's refusal to share record profits and the slow pace of contract negotiations.
The union has been in contract negotiations with Hawaiian Airlines for almost a year.
"Over the last five years Hawaiian Air's stock has soared over 500 percent while we've been operating under a contract that's 45 percent lower than our peers and the recent proposals from the company have offered a reduction of 25 percent of our days off," said Matt Merrill, a first officer with Hawaiian Airlines.
In a response letter to employees, CEO Mark Dunkerly said, "We are likewise frustrated by the pace of negotiations and are thankful a federal mediator is helping to close the gap."
Dunkerly says the union is asking for 20 to 40 percent wage increases but fails to take into account Hawaiian Airlines pilots are the only ones in the U.S. aviation industry to enjoy lifetime retiree medical benefits for themselves and their spouses.
The next federal mediation hearing is slated for March 29.