American Airlines Pilots Feel Painful Cuts

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
American Airlines Pilots Feel Painful Cuts
The airline started imposing new terms Wednesday night
Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News
American Airlines pilots knew the cuts were coming, but the union calls the new terms atomic. A company spokesperson tells NBC 5 that there s no joy in making the cuts, but claims it has to be done for the airline to survive.

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American Airlines pilots knew the cuts were coming, but the union calls the new terms “atomic.” A company spokesperson tells NBC 5 that there’s no joy in making the cuts, but claims it has to be done for the airline to survive.

“What they’ve elected to do is really kick the hornet’s nest. They told us they were going to go slow, that they’d like to get back to the bargaining table, but they’ve chosen the nuclear option here,” said First Officer Tom Hoban with the Allied Pilots Association.
Hoban said the cuts coming from American Airlines are just fueling pilots frustrations. The company got the green light last week from a judge to start slashing $370 million in pilot costs. The airline isn’t wasting any time.
“We’re going to be working more days with less pay, under some pretty significant, onerous conditions,” said Hoban.
American plans to increase the pilots maximum work time to 90 hours per month. Hoban said that’s up from an average of 83 hours per month now and that 90 hours equates to about 20 days away from home every month.
The company is also planning to freeze pensions and immediately ease code-sharing restrictions. That allows American to use smaller, regional planes like SkyWest and Express Jet. Pilots fear it will mean outsourcing their jobs and could impact passengers.
“When you buy a ticket on American Airlines, you expect to get on American Airlines. With code-share, you could be on ‘XYZ’ and not know when you purchase a ticket,” said Hoban.
American said it tried to reach an agreement with the pilots, just like it did with the flight attendants and ground workers. Right now, talks are at a standstill, which could increase the odds of a US Airways takeover.
“If they don’t have a pilot contract in place, there’s a great deal of financial uncertainty and operational uncertainty,” Hoban said.
The pilots are now voting whether to strike. The outcome of that vote is expected by Oct. 3. The union said it will be up to a judge to decide if a strike is legal.
“This is more about federal law, which makes it really tough for a union to go on strike, and American and the APA haven’t reached the point where a job action (a strike) or other “self-help” would be allowed," according to an American Airlines spokesperson. "The APA’s own general counsel reminded the union in a memorandum to its national officers and board of directors that any job action would be unlawful."
Airline labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act, which lays out a process for handling contract negotiations and labor disputes. Key to the RLA is the National Mediation Board, which steps into contract talks if the union and management cannot reach an agreement.
Under the RLA, a union cannot strike until a) the NMB has concluded that talks have come to an impasse; b) the NMB has proffered binding arbitration to the two sides; c) one party has declined the proffer; d) the board calls for a 30-day, cooling-off period; and e) the 30 days expires without a deal.”
 

etflies

Keeping calm, Chiving on.
Did they really not expect this after voting down the last TA? I think everyone saw this coming a mile away...except the APA membership.
I'm not necessarily a huge fan of APA but do you really think the TA would have saved the company from bankruptcy? Not a chance. With bankruptcy laws being as unfavorably sacked against labor as they are, AMR was going to get what they wanted either way. The pilots have a right, especially after having already sacrificed, to stand up for themselves. I doubt a single pilot flying a bare metal airplane honestly thought the circumstances wouldn't come to this, but maybe that wasn't the point.
 

ClearedToThe

Well-Known Member
I'm not necessarily a huge fan of APA but do you really think the TA would have saved the company from bankruptcy? Not a chance. With bankruptcy laws being as unfavorably sacked against labor as they are, AMR was going to get what they wanted either way. The pilots have a right, especially after having already sacrificed, to stand up for themselves.
Well the company was already in bankruptcy when they voted down the "last, best, final offer", so the bankruptcy would be a moot point to me. The question is whether or not the pilots would be better off taking a known, albeit worse than current contract, or taking their chances on the court system. I just fail to see how placing ones fate in the hands of a single judge is a wiser choice. YMMV
 

etflies

Keeping calm, Chiving on.
Give up or go down fighting. At least the pilots can still push back. My understanding is that had they accepted the crap TA that was presented, they'd have no such option. Like I said, one way or another, AMR was going to get what they wanted. APA and their pilots knew this going in, rejecting the TA was likely a statement more than it was an honest shot at trying to keep their pre-bankruptcy contract.
 

WestIndian425

Well-Known Member
Do you guys think that Cpt. Bates was in cahoots with AMR, or that he was actually working to do something for the pilots?
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
Give up or go down fighting. At least the pilots can still push back.
Not sure where you're getting that idea. The APA has (once again) shot themselves in the foot. AMR has imposed terms so draconian that no other legacy airline team has ever even imagined them before, even during the 2000s bankruptcy era. This is truly horrible new territory. And the APA had a chance to avoid it, but chose not to. As you say, to "go down fighting."

Now, they have imposed terms that include a duration of 6 years. That means that they will not have an opportunity to go to the NMB for mediated talks until at least then, probably later (the NMB likes to see direct talks for a year or so before accepting a case for mediation). And then, since management will have the most draconian pilot contract in legacy airline history, they'll be in absolutely no hurry to bargain. They'll stonewall for years. So, in all likelihood, unless Doug Parker comes to the rescue with an Airways merger, the APA pilots will be living under this atrocious contract for the next 10+ years.

The APA is a joke. They have done more to damage this profession over the past twenty years than any management team could have ever hoped to do. One horrible court ruling after another, all as a result of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the APA.
 

Trip7

Well-Known Member
This whole APA ordeal reminds me of Dave Chappelle's "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong" skits

On the bright side I do see Doug Parker swooping in to save the day for APA pretty soon


Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
 

etflies

Keeping calm, Chiving on.
Not sure where you're getting that idea. The APA has (once again) shot themselves in the foot. AMR has imposed terms so draconian that no other legacy airline team has ever even imagined them before, even during the 2000s bankruptcy era. This is truly horrible new territory. And the APA had a chance to avoid it, but chose not to. As you say, to "go down fighting."

Now, they have imposed terms that include a duration of 6 years. That means that they will not have an opportunity to go to the NMB for mediated talks until at least then, probably later (the NMB likes to see direct talks for a year or so before accepting a case for mediation). And then, since management will have the most draconian pilot contract in legacy airline history, they'll be in absolutely no hurry to bargain. They'll stonewall for years. So, in all likelihood, unless Doug Parker comes to the rescue with an Airways merger, the APA pilots will be living under this atrocious contract for the next 10+ years.

The APA is a joke. They have done more to damage this profession over the past twenty years than any management team could have ever hoped to do. One horrible court ruling after another, all as a result of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the APA.
My understanding of these things (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that had they accepted the TA, they'd be stuck with it for however long the TA specified and unable to renegotiate or strike. Thus, theyve protected the slim chance they have at being able to help themselves either over a negotiating table or with a picket line.

Edited because my reading comprehension is hovering around a 3rd grade level this morning.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
I think the big lesson is when you're threatened with bankruptcy and the company AND union come to you with the "take these cuts and they'll leave us alone in bankruptcy" (DL) or "take these cuts or we'll go bankrupt" (AA), it doesn't matter because they're going to do what they're going to do and come after you when the file.

The bankruptcy laws are jacked. But, you know, we're all $200k/year underworked employees working 12 days a month so...
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
My understanding of these things (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that had they accepted the TA, they'd be stuck with it for however long the TA specified and unable to renegotiate or strike. Thus, theyve protected the slim chance they have at being able to help themselves either over a negotiating table or with a picket line.
But that's the problem. They have no chance. A strike is illegal (the APA's own general counsel has told them so), and the NMB isn't going to recognize their case as being ripe for mediation until they hit the amendable date of the term sheet, which is six years from now. They got the same heinous long-term duration, while getting far worse terms on the deal itself, including a huge loss of flying and the resultant furloughs. There is no positive here. The APA bungled this whole thing. Again.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
But that's the problem. They have no chance. A strike is illegal (the APA's own general counsel has told them so), and the NMB isn't going to recognize their case as being ripe for mediation until they hit the amendable date of the term sheet, which is six years from now. They got the same heinous long-term duration, while getting far worse terms on the deal itself, including a huge loss of flying and the resultant furloughs. There is no positive here. The APA bungled this whole thing. Again.
There's no positive for AMR management either. With the wave of retirements about to occur at every other mainline carrier, how does AMR expect to recruit top quality talent in the years to come?
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
Trust me, AMR doesn't exactly care about recruiting top talent.

From someone who spent 7 years in the AMR collective, you ARE just a number, you ARE disposable, you do NOT matter. At all. Resistance is futile.
 
Not sure where you're getting that idea. The APA has (once again) shot themselves in the foot. AMR has imposed terms so draconian that no other legacy airline team has ever even imagined them before, even during the 2000s bankruptcy era. This is truly horrible new territory. And the APA had a chance to avoid it, but chose not to. As you say, to "go down fighting."

Now, they have imposed terms that include a duration of 6 years. That means that they will not have an opportunity to go to the NMB for mediated talks until at least then, probably later (the NMB likes to see direct talks for a year or so before accepting a case for mediation). And then, since management will have the most draconian pilot contract in legacy airline history, they'll be in absolutely no hurry to bargain. They'll stonewall for years. So, in all likelihood, unless Doug Parker comes to the rescue with an Airways merger, the APA pilots will be living under this atrocious contract for the next 10+ years.

The APA is a joke. They have done more to damage this profession over the past twenty years than any management team could have ever hoped to do. One horrible court ruling after another, all as a result of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the APA.

But that's the problem. They have no chance. A strike is illegal (the APA's own general counsel has told them so), and the NMB isn't going to recognize their case as being ripe for mediation until they hit the amendable date of the term sheet, which is six years from now. They got the same heinous long-term duration, while getting far worse terms on the deal itself, including a huge loss of flying and the resultant furloughs. There is no positive here. The APA bungled this whole thing. Again.
So, you're saying the APA should have taken the crap sandwich BK contract AA handed them?
 

WestIndian425

Well-Known Member
Trust me, AMR doesn't exactly care about recruiting top talent.

From someone who spent 7 years in the AMR collective, you ARE just a number, you ARE disposable, you do NOT matter. At all. Resistance is futile.
Wow. The Evil Empire moniker really does apply.
Not sure where you're getting that idea. The APA has (once again) shot themselves in the foot. AMR has imposed terms so draconian that no other legacy airline team has ever even imagined them before, even during the 2000s bankruptcy era. This is truly horrible new territory. And the APA had a chance to avoid it, but chose not to. As you say, to "go down fighting."

Now, they have imposed terms that include a duration of 6 years. That means that they will not have an opportunity to go to the NMB for mediated talks until at least then, probably later (the NMB likes to see direct talks for a year or so before accepting a case for mediation). And then, since management will have the most draconian pilot contract in legacy airline history, they'll be in absolutely no hurry to bargain. They'll stonewall for years. So, in all likelihood, unless Doug Parker comes to the rescue with an Airways merger, the APA pilots will be living under this atrocious contract for the next 10+ years.

The APA is a joke. They have done more to damage this profession over the past twenty years than any management team could have ever hoped to do. One horrible court ruling after another, all as a result of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the APA.
So I was right to ask my question earlier about Cpt. Bates! He did say that it wasn't good, but recommended the TA because the alternative would have been much worse. He's gone now, and look at the situation. I feel bad about this whole thing, but what exactly is the alternative, and where will the improvement come from?
 
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