Sat, Sep 01, 2012
Says That A Deal Would Be Better For Both AMR Corp, Pilots
The president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents the pilots flying for American Airlines, says that both the union and the airline would be better off if a deal was struck between those two parties instead of allowing a judge to throw out the existing contract as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings.
That may be difficult, as the two sides aren't currently talking.
The Wall Street Journal reports that APA president Keith Wilson noted recently that all of the other unions representing AMR Corp. workers have reached agreements with the airline, making some concessions but giving them slightly better deals than the airline's original offers. American has made some modifications to its proposal to throw out the pilots' contract wholesale and impose new terms unilaterally on the union. Judge Sean Lane rejected a similar proposal in mid-August because of two specific items which American has addressed in its latest motion. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Wilson said that if the airline imposes its own terms, the union will immediately schedule a strike vote. While he said that a strike is a long road to climb" during a bankruptcy, a strike vote could send a message to AMR management that the pilots are serious.
Still, Wilson said that the best course of action for both the airline and the union is a negotiated settlement ... but one that acknowledges contracts with other airlines for pilots with similar skills and experience, as well as financial gains the airline has made during the bankruptcy proceedings. He said the union is asking AMR management to "justify what they are asking for" in the form of givebacks from the pilots.
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