PILOTSÆ UNION QUESTIONS AMERICAN AIRLINES NEGOTIATING TACTICS
The Allied Pilots Association, which represents 13,500 American Airlines pilots, complained that airline management is seeking an additional 1,000 pilot furloughs after the union agreed to restructure the union contract to help the airline from sliding into bankruptcy.
American is seeking $1.8 billion in wage concessions from its unions, including $600 million from pilots.
“We are perplexed by this last-minute change in attitude, and so are the mediators involved in our negotiations. It appears to us to be bad-faith negotiations,” the APA said in a statement. “If we are unsuccessful at avoiding bankruptcy, APA is prepared to consider a variety of alternatives, including a possible employee purchase of the airline, a different management team and other changes.”
In a prepared statement American Airlines responded: “American has kept its word and has not changed what it is asking of its employees. The pilots the APA refers to were over and above what we needed to operate the airline in January 2003 and were already accounted for before we ever went to the APA for contract changes. Furloughs, while regrettable, are resulting from the overage under the terms of our existing agreement. Therefore, they were never included in the $660 million in structural contract changes. We discussed this issue with the APA a number of weeks ago and several times recently.'