- September 29, 2009, 7:16 AM
Teamsters Local 1108, the union representing some 500 pilots at fractional provider Flight Options, on September 21 mailed strike-authorization vote ballots as final sessions of mediated negotiations neared. The union and Flight Options management have been in negotiations on an initial contract since June 2006. The parties met last month at National Mediation Board (NMB) offices in Washington to try to reach agreement on remaining compensation, benefit and work-rule issues, without success. A final bargaining session is scheduled for the week of October 26. If these final mediated sessions also fail, then the NMB can offer voluntary binding arbitration. If either party rejects arbitration, a 30-day cooling period starts, after which the pilots are free to strike. Strike-authorization ballots will be counted on October 19.