The Alaska Pilots Podcast

Mediation Under the Railway Labor Act (RLA)

January 21, 2022

In this episode Podcast Host, Strategic Communications Chairman David Campbell discusses the Railway Labor Act (RLA), including what it means to be in mediated negotiations and the process of being released before engaging in a legal strike. ALPA’s Senior Advisor and Chief Negotiator Bruce York, along with Senior Labor Relations Counsel Zach Henige join this episode to discuss what to expect during RLA mediation and what tactics are available to us to advance the pilots’ goals. Bruce York has been negotiating airline contracts for more than 40 years and shares his experience regarding ways management teams have in the past attempted to stymie the work of ALPA. Also on this episode are MEC Chairman Will McQuillen and Negotiating Chairman Chris Gruner.


This week the pilots’ Negotiating Committee, including Chris Gruner, began negotiations in the presence of a mediator, Mike Tosi, assigned by the National Mediation Board. Pilots may recall, the company stated it was filing for mediation with the intention of moving negotiations to a conclusion. Alaska pilots may read the committee’s update detailing the results of these three days of mediated negotiations.


The Alaska Airlines pilots have been negotiating with their company for nearly three years in attempts to bring the contract more in line with their industry peers. On January 19, 2022 the parties met to conduct the first mediated session with the assistance of a national mediator assigned by the National Mediation Board (NMB).


RLA Flow Chart


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