The pilots union at American Airlines has agreed in principle with management’s latest contract offer, sending it to a vote of the roughly 15,000 pilots across American Airlines and US Airways.
Since American Airlines had chosen not to exercise their option to send the contract to arbitration and the union hadn’t been making much in the way of volatile statements, this had the feeling that it would resolve itself without much more back and forth.
The union leaders sound reasonably pleased with the results of the negotiations, according to Sheryl Jean of the Dallas Morning News:
Last week’s APA hotline message to members summed up American president Scott Kirby’s major points of the company’s revised contract proposal in a letter he sent pilots:
* A pay scale that provides pilots with increases of about 23 percent at signing.
* Some “non-wage enhancements” made in response to requests from the APA. The airline estimated the total net economic impact of such non-wage items to be an increase in annual pilot costs of about $20 million over five years. “In an arbitrated award, these enhancements would likely go away,” Kirby said in the letter.
“From the initial meeting in a New York restaurant in March 2012 when APA representatives engaged a then-US Airways senior management representative, all the way to the eventual merger, the pilots of American Airlines and US Airways have played a key leadership role in creating the world’s biggest airline,” the APA board said in its online update to pilots. “Can it also become the world’s best? The outcome of this
That being said, the recent flight attendants negotiation and subsequent veto by membership of an agreement between the union leaders and management should be a sign that this hasn’t yet crossed the finish line. While there may be another chapter to come in the contract process for pilots, I suspect that they will ratify this contract proposal. That also means that Doug Parker, et al will have merged their way out of a union problem that never fixed itself at US Airways dating back to the America West days.
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