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Sun Country Pilots Call For Final Mediation Session

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Pilots from Sun Country Airlines have asked federal officials to release them from mediation talks if an agreement can't be reached in their final session with airline officials.

Sun County officials and the 250 pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, or APLA, have been in negotiations for five years.

The pilots say they are the lowest paid in the country and are asking for a raise.

Last month, negotiations ended early without reaching an agreement, leaving the future of the airline unknown.

On Thursday, APLA sent a letter to the National Mediation Board in Washington D.C. asking for a final mediation session to be scheduled.

In their letter, the APLA asked that if a tentative agreement isn't reached in the final session that the board end mediation and make a proffer of arbitration.

This means any remaining issues would be arbitrated between Sun Country officials and the APLA.

"The Sun Country pilots continue to fall further and further behind while waiting for a new contract to be completed," ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll wrote in the letter. "If a comprehensive agreement can't be reached at the next mediation session, the Association does not believe that further mediation will lead to an agreement and instead believes that further bargaining in the absence of a deadline will be futile."

Sun Country and the ALPA began contract talks in April 2010. They entered federal mediation in May 2012.

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