Hourly Pay Would Stay The Same
It's a cause-and-effect relationship
as old as time itself: if you want to earn more money... you'll
have to work more. Executives at the world's largest airline have
taken that attitude to heart.
This week, American Airlines told representatives with the
Allied Pilots Association the airline is willing to consider
allowing its pilots to fly more hours, as part of its pitch in
ongoing contract negotiations.
Talks on a new contract began last year; the current APA
contract opens for amending in 2008.
"This provides voluntary opportunities for pilots to increase
their earnings," American Airlines spokeswoman Sue Gordon told the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "And it gives us the ability to boost our
efficiency and be more competitive."
The proposal -- reportedly the first significant movement since
talks began last XXXX -- would increase the maximum number of hours
an American Airlines pilot may be scheduled from 78 to 82 per
month. It would also give pilots the option of volunteering to work
up to 15 additional hours per month.
American's pilots now work the fewest number of hours among
domestic carriers. Even with overtime, the new deal would keep
pilots below the 100 hour maximum per month set by the FAA.
If implemented, the proposal would be a win/win situation for
American. More hours worked equals greater productivity... and the
airline wouldn't have to raise pay.
"This sets the foundation to allow us to move forward and amend
other areas of the contract," Gordon said.
How sturdy that "foundation" truly is remains to be seen,
however. American's pilots originally wanted as much as a 30
percent pay raise, and signing bonuses... although they've since
backed off both of those caveats.
Still, American's overtures are playing a bit hollow to
"This move by management should not be considered as anything
more than the negotiating tactic that it is," said Ron Hunt,
Chairman of the union's Chicago chapter, in an email to pilots this
week. "It should not go unnoticed that what management is doing by
releasing this information is nothing more than attempting to go
around your union, manage your expectations and negotiate directly
Pilots are sticking firm to calls for pay guarantees when trips
are cancelled, as long as they later make up the time. They also
want provisions for online training.