As American Airlines and its pilots union finish up a second week at the bargaining table with no deal, the Allied Pilots Association reemphasized its desire for an industry-standard contract.
"We look forward to a prompt resolution to the ongoing talks and to an industry-standard contract that properly recognizes the value our pilots provide to American Airlines. At this juncture, the onus is on AMR to bargain expeditiously and in good faith," the hotline message sent to pilots on Friday evening said.
The union also listed some of its priorities in the negotiations including a shorter contract than the six years that American has proposed, pay rates similar to its competitors, Delta and United and codeshare restrictions similar to what US Airways has agreed to in its conditional agreement with the APA.
With the rhetoric from the pilots, analyst Jason Goldberg at the Leading Edge Consulting Group said it is apparent that the pilots feel they have leverage at the bargaining table as they believe management needs a pilot contract before exiting bankruptcy. However, American is unlikely to meet all of the pilots' desires in a new contract."We reiterate our belief that the present round of negotiations will almost certainly result in failure, and that the medium term outlook for an agreement is similarly bleak," Goldberg said.
Keep reading for the full message from APA which was signed by 21 union leaders.
With the resumption of bargaining, we want to emphasize to you our commitment to attaining an industry-standard contract.
It’s likewise imperative that AMR management understands what we are seeking to accomplish in these negotiations. We have made it clear at the bargaining table that there will be no agreement unless our objectives, as delineated in the counter proposal we have presented, are appropriately addressed. “Son of LBFO” or some derivation thereof will not meet the minimum standard set by the pilots of American Airlines and reinforced by our network-carrier peers.
The priority items APA has identified are reasonable, consistent with industry standards and will enable American Airlines to complete a successful restructuring. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Eliminate Group II pay
band and move the A-319 into Group III, with a weighted industry average before
- Pay rates that align us with our network-carrier peers at Delta and United
- Codeshare restrictions in line with those in the US Airways conditional labor agreement
- Contract duration that is shorter than the six-year duration in management’s “last, best, final offer”
- Hard furlough protection that reflects date of signing for the junior pilot
- An industry-standard pension
- An equity claim that can be monetized and has an established “hard floor” protection
- A non-punitive sick policy, with APA control of sick vendor for verification of usage
- No-cost items such as deadhead priority
- Contract language governing layover hotel selection
- Industry-standard per diem (for example, DAL pilots’ $2.25 domestic/$2.70 international)
- Scope limits that include a hard cap or percentage limits on the 50- to 76-seat jets
To summarize, we look forward to a prompt resolution to the ongoing talks and to an industry-standard contract that properly recognizes the value our pilots provide to American Airlines. At this juncture, the onus is on AMR to bargain expeditiously and in good faith. “Kicking the can” delay tactics will not stand.
We will keep you informed as bargaining developments dictate.