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September 10, 2012

American pilots union to conduct a strike vote

The board of the pilots union has told its staff to conduct a strike vote.

The Allied Pilots Association had previously said it would hold a strike vote if American Airlines implemented any of the work rule changes from the February term sheet. And now that the bankruptcy judge ruled last week that American was allowed to reject its pilot contract, it appears that American plans to put in place some of the changes it says are necessary to restructure successfully.

We are still waiting for official word from the APA about the strike vote.

American spokesman Bruce Hicks said the union cannot legally strike against the carrier.

"The APA’s own general counsel reminded the union in a memorandum to its national officers and board of directors posted Saturday that any job action would be unlawful.  So, it’s obvious this announcement is simply a diversionary tactic," Hicks said. "American is committed to moving forward with implementing those terms from both the Tentative Agreement and Term Sheet that are necessary for our successful restructuring."

He continued, "We assured the APA and our pilots on Friday that the vast majority of working conditions will not change from the pilot contract previously in place with the exception of specific changes found by the Court to be necessary for American to reorganize.  At the same time, we remain committed to bargaining in good faith with APA for an agreement that addresses the Company’s needs and that pilots will find acceptable."

UPDATE: The APA put out a hotline message this evening saying that close to a 100 members packed the meeting room to hear the board direct staff to hold a strike vote.

Online voting will begin at noon CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and will continue through noon on Wednesday, October 3 with results being announced later that day.

The board also ordered an increase of 300 percent to the budget of the strike preparedness committee.

Members were told that American plans to implement contract changes that are a "blend of elements" from the last-best-final-offer and the April 19 term sheet.

"More specifically, management noted that they will proceed with imposing items from the “last, best, final offer” that are common to other work groups. Management also noted that in areas where changes would be difficult to reverse—for example, changes requiring a large amount of computer programming—they would likely impose items from their “last, best, final offer.” Notably, management indicated that they do not plan to furlough any pilots. In highly sensitive areas such as pension and sick, First Officer Roghair described management’s approach as “specifically vague,” with few details about how they may proceed," the hotline message said.

-Andrea Ahles

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Comments

casual observer

Wow! These pilots really mean business. Too bad they have no head for business nor can accept the fact that any job action during bankruptcy is stupid, not to mention illegal. These guys were offered an unprecedented deal that even the creditors needed some arm twisting to endorse because of the generous equity stake. They voted it down. Now another tantrum?

Reap what you sow, APA. For whatever reason, this union thinks it can bully its way to a better deal. I have a feeling the court and other creditors beg to differ.

DG

Just another example of posturing by the union. If my union had voted our LBFO down, no doubt Laura would be trying to do the same thing.

Harry Mudd

So a strike moves the bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquadation doesn't it?

Richard

This is just another PR stunt from the pilots union. They can't strike while AA is in bankruptcy, and even out of bankruptcy the NMB is not going to allow a large airline strike in an election year.

You made your bed boys. Time to lie in it.

Wings367

Why does a strike vote take almost a month to hold. Vote now like you did on the contracts, not with a drawn-out online vote. Illegal now will be the same as illegal on Oct. 3rd. Let's get this charade over with.

John S

This vote in meaningless. The judge and/or the government will not let them strike - end of story.

The pilots union is literally out of options and they know it. They are starting to behave like a wild animal backed into a corner.

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