Union Strikes Down CRJ Deal For American Eagle
In a move unlikely to
surprise anyone, on Thursday executives at American Airlines
rejected a contract proposal offered by its pilots unionm, saying
it would have increased the carrier's costs by over $1.4 billion a
"AA negotiators have informed the APA negotiating committee that
such a large compensation increase as proposed could not be
sustained," said a message on America's negotiations website. As ANN reported, the union
submitted the contract proposal two weeks ago.
The airline said the proposal would have increased its pilot
cost per hour to more than those of Delta Air Lines and Continental
Airlines combined, reports The Dallas Morning News. Union spokesman
Karl Schricker called American's statements "tired rhetoric that
tries to make everyone forget what they've done with senior
executive compensation and how they basically sold labor a bill of
goods with 'pull together, win together.'"
Union leaders say executives at American fail to acknowledge how
much pilots and other employees at the airline gave up in 2003, in
order to keep the carrier out of bankruptcy.
"They're heading us down a bad path," Schricker added. "If they
want to negotiate in good faith, let's go. But if they don't want
to negotiate in good faith and don't want to accept the fact that
their workers deserve the raises that are coming to them, it's
going to be interesting times at American Airlines."
Those are strong
statements... though comparatively tame to earlier proclamations
from the newly-elected leaders of the union. Last month, a letter
sent by union president Lloyd Hill to AMR CEO Gerard Arpey was
leaked to the press... in which Hill told Arpey "we'll see you in
court, in the newspapers, and on the picket line."
In something of a tit-for-tat move, also on Thursday the union
struck down American's plans to purchase 25 70-seat Bombardier CRJ
regional jets destined for its regional subsidiary, American Eagle.
The jets would have been flown by pilots at the regional carrier,
who are not members of the APA, but rather the Air Line Pilots
That dispute also kills a tentative agreement reached last
week between those two unions, outlining so-called
"flow-through" procedures for American Eagle pilots to move up to
American's mainline service.
"Management has, thus far, been unable to document that they
have the right to purchase these aircraft under our existing scope
clause," union president Lloyd Hill told members.
Hill also asserted "the 25 additional CRJ aircraft are
completely unrelated" to the flow-through agreement... which, in
the absence of a deal, will now go to binding arbitration.