[Update from Skift: A U.S. District Court in Las Vegas issued a temporary restraining order blocking a strike by Allegiant pilots and the union says it will comply with the court order, thus averting a strike.]

Pilots at Allegiant Airlines plan to walk off the job because they say the carrier hasn’t complied with a court order to reverse a scheduling system change and restore other benefits.

More than 500 pilots will strike the Las Vegas-based unit of Allegiant Travel Co. at 3 a.m. New York time Thursday, Daniel Wells, president of the Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, said in an interview. The strike will ground 250 flights and affect 33,000 customers daily, the union estimates.

“Striking is a last resort but we cannot continue to stand by a company that flaunts the law and by robbing the pilots of legally protected rights and benefits,” pilot Tom Pozdro wrote in a statement issued by the union.

Allegiant sued the union Tuesday in a federal court to prevent a strike, which it said would cost millions of dollars a day and scare off customers. The walkout is illegal because the union and the airline haven’t exhausted all procedures to resolve their conflict, Allegiant said in its complaint. The dispute came to a head after more than two years of failed contract talks between the union and airline.

The federal Railway Labor Act, which governs airline unions, prohibits strikes during contract talks without authority from the National Mediation Board. That body hasn’t ruled on the union’s request at this time and has directed both sides to return to the bargaining table.

–With assistance from Edvard Pettersson in Federal court in Los Angeles

This article was written by MARY SCHLANGENSTEIN from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

From Skift: Here’s Allegiant Air’s lawsuit against Teamsters Local 1224’s strike plans:

Download (PDF, 516KB)

Photo Credit: Passengers in an Allegiant Air MD 80. Allegiant Air