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Sun, May 21, 2023

APA and American Airlines Management Reach Agreement in Principle

Hope in the 11th Hour

Notwithstanding reports that a deal was at hand, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the labor union by which American Airlines pilots are represented, authorized a strike in the wake of protracted contract talks with the air-carrier.

The authorizing of a strike is the first in a long and complex succession of prerequisites that must be met prior to American Airlines pilots walking off the job. By making such an authorization in the weeks prior to the onset of the frantic and profitable summer travel season, the Allied Pilots Association exerted considerable pressure on American Airlines’ management to assume a more cooperative tenor at the negotiation table.

The tactic appears to have been effective.

On 19 May, the APA announced its negotiating committee and American Airlines management had reached an agreement in principle (AIP) on a new collective bargaining agreement.

In a statement to American Airlines pilots, the union set forth: “As required by the APA Policy Manual Section 9.06, we will move forward with completing contractual language for all sections and related letters and for the implementation schedule. Once that requirement is fulfilled, the Negotiating Committee will present the AIP to the APA Board of Directors for consideration as a proposed tentative agreement (TA) at least seven days prior to any meeting convened to consider the TA.”

The statement continues: “Details of the AIP will be released by the Negotiating Committee in the days ahead.”

The APA thanked American Airlines’ pilots for their solidarity and resolve, stating: “Fellow pilots, thank you for your steadfast support throughout this lengthy process. As always, we will proceed with the best interests of the pilot group foremost in our minds.”

By the metrics of number of passengers carried and overall revenue, American Airlines is the world’s second-largest airline; by the metric of fleet size it is the largest. That an equitable labor agreement appears imminent is a boon not only for the airline and its pilots, but for the multitudes whose summer plans call for air travel.

FMI: www.alliedpilots.org

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