The Allied Pilots Association issues this statement concerning American Airlines’ plan to void the existing labor contracts

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is getting more pushback from its unions concerning its plans to get the bankruptcy court approval to void the existing labor contracts. The Allied Pilots Association, representing the 10,000 American Airlines’ unionized pilots, issued the follow statement:

“The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following statement in response to the filing of an 1113(c) motion with the bankruptcy court by airline management:

“The 10,000 pilots of American Airlines remain absolutely committed to our airline’s successful restructuring, and to reaching a consensual agreement with management,” said APA President Captain Dave Bates. “We are well aware that a financially healthy company is a prerequisite to enjoying full, rewarding careers.

“However, we’re extremely concerned that despite giving lip-service to the importance of reaching a consensual agreement with APA, American Airlines management appears intent on having the bankruptcy court reject our contract,” he said. “If the court decides to grant management’s 1113(c) motion, management would then be able to impose new terms of employment on our pilots. Taking this step—one that could be fairly described as running roughshod over our contract—will not foster long-term success for American Airlines.

“In recent bargaining sessions with APA, management has repeatedly stated that a consensual agreement will be ‘impossible’ if we continue making proposals designed to keep our working conditions at or near industry-standard levels. Just saying no to everything the APA leadership has proposed at the negotiating table does not constitute good-faith bargaining. It also does not bode well for our ability to work collaboratively to address the many other challenges confronting American Airlines.

“We therefore urge management to rethink their strategy and join us in committing to good-faith bargaining, with the goal of reaching a consensual agreement at the earliest possible opportunity,” Bates said. “The alternative course—rejection of our contract by the bankruptcy court—is not in the best interests of American Airlines’ stakeholders.

“As we await management’s response, we will be making our case to the bankruptcy court that management’s 1113(c) motion is premature. We do not believe that management has fulfilled the statutory requirements that must be met prior to filing an 1113(c) motion,” he said.”

In conclusion this leads to us asking the following question: Is American Airlines attempting to become the world’s largest low-cost airline or are they striving to have around the same employee costs structure as its main U.S. competitors, some who have already gone through a Chapter 11 reorganization?

Time will tell.  This is going to get heated in our opinion. Stay tuned.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

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