Hawaiian Airlines pilot union opens strike operations center

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As contract negotiations continue between Hawaiian Airlines and the union representing its pilots, a strike operations center opened Wednesday.

The center, located near the airport on Waiakamilo Road, will be the nerve center for the Air Line Pilots Association’s strike operations, should the federal government decide negotiations are at an impasse and allow them to strike after a 30-day cooling-off period.

The two groups have been locked in contract negotiations for more than a year now.

“We hope that it doesn’t go down that road,” said pilot Matt Merrill. “We’d like for a market rate contract to be negotiated and we can avoid all this together. But we’re opening this to prep for if we’re forced down that road to a strike.”

Pilots say they’re paid less than their colleagues at other airlines, but Hawaiian management insists its pilots are very well compensated.

In a communication to airline employees, Chief Operating Officer Jon Snook said in part that “Many of you will be interacting with our guests over the next few days. Please feel free to express our confidence that there is no pending strike and we are singularly focused on providing them the unparalleled hospitality they have come to expect from Hawaiian Airlines.”

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