American’s pilots to picket today at Chicago O’Hare

Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 10,000 pilots who fly for American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), will be picketing today (September 20) to “signify American Airlines pilots’ determination to secure a contract commensurate with their status as professional aviators for a major U.S. carrier”.

The 16 members of the APA Board of Directors will also participate in the rally, along with rank-and-file pilots from American Airlines’ Chicago base and other locations.

The picketing will be conducted between Terminals 2 and 3 on the outside connecting sidewalk at O’Hare International Airport.

According to the union, “American Airlines management recently received bankruptcy court approval to reject the APA-American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement. Management is now unilaterally implementing new terms of employment that adversely affect pilots’ working conditions, compensation and retirement security. APA believes management is using Chapter 11 bankruptcy to extract far more value from the pilots than what’s needed to successfully restructure American Airlines.”

In addition, the APA issued the following statement today:

The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following prepared statement in response to recent reports alleging a decline in the airline’s operational performance:

“First of all, there is no job action of any sort that is organized, supported or sanctioned by the Allied Pilots Association.

“APA independently tracks the airline’s operational performance. We have verified that pilot sick rates have not deviated from normal historical rates. We have likewise verified that crew cancellations remain at normal rates.

“One area of increased operational unreliability we have observed is in mechanical delays, which isn’t surprising. Although American Airlines operates the oldest fleet of any major U.S. carrier, management has decided to furlough a large number of mechanics and close one of its largest maintenance facilities. Management also decided some time ago to reduce its inventory of spare parts.

“In addition, management halted the recalls of furloughed pilots late last year, which has resulted in an insufficient number of pilots to maintain the schedule properly.

“It’s also important to remember that management chose to reject the APA-American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement, which served as an operating manual for our pilots. Management’s action has generated significant uncertainty for our pilots with respect to employment protections and operating rules, which are now under management’s unilateral control.

“APA members are experienced professionals who conduct themselves as professionals under whatever circumstances they encounter. Any negative impact on our airline’s operational integrity is of management’s own making.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-823 N830NN (msn 31091) taxies to the runway at Seattle/Tacoma.

American Airlines: