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Fri, Nov 04, 2022

American Airlines Pilots Union Reject Contract Proposal

Something Special in the Air

The Allied Pilots Association (APA)—the labor union by which American Airlines pilots are represented—has rejected a contract proposal that would have secured American Airlines’ flight-crew personnel nearly twenty-percent in raises over the coming two-years.

The 15 – 5 vote by which the union’s board rejected the airline’s proposal instantiates the umbrage with which the airline industry is rife and speaks to the acrimony of a pilot workforce largely excluded from the record earnings racked up by air-carriers during the post-COVID travel boom.

Allied Pilots Association spokesman Dennis Tajer remarked: “American management has done very little to address contract provisions regarding schedule reliability and instead focused more on keeping mainline pilots’ pay increases as low as possible. Management’s failure to invest in a pilot contract that levels up to meet passenger demand only creates more uncertainty for the holiday travel season and even next summer.”

In October 2022, American Airlines pilots tentatively agreed to a deal that promised them an across-the-board 12% pay raise on the date of the contract’s approval, followed by raises of five-percent in one-year, and two-percent in two-years. Notwithstanding an overall pay-raise totaling just under twenty-percent over two-years, the proposal failed to address “quality-of-life” issues for which American pilots have long pushed. The Allied Pilots Association contends that higher delay and cancellation rates have engendered operational disruptions that often extend aircrew rotations by days. The union wants fewer pilots put on reserve, or on call. Such a measure would allow stranded pilots to pick up extra flights during periods of increased delays and cancellations.

The APA’s vote mirrored rejections of contract proposals by unions representing the pilots of Delta and United Airlines. Delta’s pilots, who continue to work under pay and benefit provisions last negotiated in 2016, have voted to authorize a companywide strike. United pilots, conversely, are making ready to stage a series of pickets across major U.S. airports. Pilots at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines remain mired in contract negotiations that have dragged on for well over two-years.



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