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October 15, 2012

Pilot negotiations continuing at American

It doesn't sound like much progress has been made by American Airlines and its pilots union in negotiating a new contract.

According to two different messages from union leaders over the weekend, there was enough progress to continue negotiations this week, but no "agreements-in-principle" were reached either.

The Allied Pilots Association negotiating committee told members that talks have occurred on a wide variety of issues including compensation, scope, base closures, furlough protection, disability and sick rules.

But in a base blast from the Los Angeles union leaders, the negotiations were described as "difficult, frustrating, and painful.

"If this current rate of progress continues, we should have an industry standard TA to send to you by NEVER," the message from Los Angeles base chairman Steve Conlon and vice chairman Randy LeRuth. "The negotiating period authorized by the APA Board will end next week during the BOD meeting. If by that time AA has not agreed to an industry standard (Delta/United) contract—and we are not optimistic--we will vote to end negotiations and release the strike vote results."

Keep reading for the full update from the APA negotiating committee and the LAX Base Blast.

-Andrea Ahles

APA Negotiating Committee update

The Negotiating Committee met with management every day this week. Talks focused on a wide array of APA concerns which include, but are not limited to: compensation, scope, disability, sick, injuries on duty, A319 pay rates, furlough protection, the possibility of slowing down base closures, and the potential for remote satellite bases.

We will be briefing the APA Board of Directors on the status of negotiations during next week's Board meeting. While there are some very difficult issues yet to be resolved, we feel management is clearly listening to our issues and acknowledges that they need to be addressed. The framework for any potential agreement must meet or exceed the guidance given to us by the APA Board of Directors, based on your collective inputs. Enough progress has been made to justify the continuation of negotiations next week.

LAX Base Blast, October 13


Negotiating sessions were conducted every day this week, but are being described as difficult, frustrating, and painful.

No Agreements-In-Principle (AIPs) were reached in any areas--none. If this current rate of progress continues, we should have an industry standard TA to send to you by NEVER.

The negotiating period authorized by the APA Board will end next week during the BOD meeting. If by that time AA has not agreed to an industry standard (Delta/United) contract—and we are not optimistic--we will vote to end negotiations and release the strike vote results.

From the BK Court

APA appealed the BK court decision--the judge “declined to rule” and “did not set a date for ruling”.

"The judge overseeing American Airlines' bankruptcy declined to rule on a pilots' appeal to preserve their old agreement, meaning the airline can continue making work changes while the two sides continue contract talks....

...The union appealed the decision and it has asked the court to stop the airline from making changes while the appeal is pending, arguing that the changes cause "irreparable harm" to members.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Lane declined to rule on the union's motion to suspend and did not set a date for a ruling on the issue....” Oct 9 (Reuters)

Additionally, we have filed a motion to have our appeals at the District Court level consolidated and heard at the same time.

Observer Reports

Every day APA receives dozens of reports, and some alarming trends are becoming apparent.

The most common trend is for incorrect delay codes. Delays that should be attributed to Mx, Passenger Service, Catering, etc. are being assigned as cockpit crew delays.

If your flight is delayed for any reason, please take the time to check the delay code and make sure it is correct. You can check it with either of these two entries:

FL flt#/DDMMM STA DM (Example: FL 2166/05OCT MIA DM)


DIF DDMMM flt# (Example: DIF 27SEP 959)
The second most common trend is for Aircraft Maintenance, including shortage of spare parts and logbook discrepancies (incorrect placards, sign-offs, etc.).

Observer Reports are helping us prepare to refute any claim by AA that pilots are causing delays and cancellations--keep them coming!


The FAA has increased their oversight of American Airlines. In a recent Human Factors class, an FAA representative was present and briefed that the FAA has DOUBLED their presence in and around the AA operations, and that 75% of their efforts concern aircraft maintenance ($162 Million in fines, seats coming out of their tracks, S80 wiring, etc.).
We have received a reports that the FAA is checking aircraft operating certificates and logbooks, as well as crew manuals, licenses and medical certificates. They could be with you on the ramp, watching you from the terminal, waiting for you in the cockpit. It is more important than ever to perform your job safely, legally, and professionally.

LAX Bidlines

AA has unilaterally implemented higher monthly maximums.

LAX 777 has lines built to 80:35

LAX 767 Int’l has lines built to 80:05

LAX 767 Dom has lines built to 83:25, and lines with 21-22 workdays of “slash” all-nighters

LAX 737 has lines built to 87:05, and lines with18-19 workdays of “slash” all-nighters

LAX S80 has lines built to 84:35

AA has not given us any explanation of what the monthly max actually is for November.

Don’t forget that you will be receiving ZERO pension contributions for this flying.


If you are properly rested for your flight, go fly.

If you are not properly rested, call in Fatigued and do not fly until you are properly rested.

"Pilots should not continue on any sequence that they anticipate being unable to safely complete due to fatigue." (Supp BB, unchanged by Term Sheet—so far)

"As part of American Airlines’ Fatigue Policy, line and reserve flight crew members have the ability to remove themselves from service both prior to, and during an assigned sequence if they feel their fatigue levels make them unfit for duty.” (AA Fatigue Risk Management Plan)

If you call in Fatigued, complete a Fatigue Report. You can find the link on the APA website--


Medical Fitness for Flight

If you are medically fit for flight, go fly.
If you are not medically fit for flight, call in Sick and go see your doctor. Get your symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, medications documented for any possible verification requests--AA is still going down this road, as several LAX pilot can attest to. Call APA Legal if you are asked to substantiate any sick absence.

Fly Aggressively Safe, Healthy, and Rested

Steve and Randy


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With all due respect, you've got to be kidding me...an "industry-standard" contract in bankruptcy...it is a ridiculous request.


APA forgot that AA is now in bankruptcy, after ten years of bleeding. If you want an industry standard contract, you have to earn it.


when your talking a six year contract its not unreasonable at all.

casual observer

They had a chance to ratify an industry leading bankruptcy agreement. It was unprecedented given the equity stake alone.

APA = Another Pipe-dream Association


I'm sorry IHAVEPRIDE, I understand what you are saying, but that does not make it any less ridiculous. The idea that a company in bankruptcy like American would be able to compensate its employees in the same way that say Delta can (a company that is on target to make $1 billion for the second year in a row), is just unreasonable.

The pilots already turned down the option to receive industry standard compensation 3 years into the contract.


So then Andrew we must apply that same standard to executive compensation anything else would be ridiculous. NO ?


I do apply the same standard to executive compensation, no company in bankruptcy should compensate its employees as well, or better, than a very similar company that is much more profitable.

Now, to my knowledge, American's executives are not as well compensated for 2012 as the other major, profitable carriers. They will not receive stock options, and any old stock options went worthless when the carrier declared bankruptcy. Tom Horton still makes his CFO salary, or roughly $400,000/year. A lot of money no doubt, but not much when you consider that he was the CFO of AT&T and probably made north of $10 M/year. We can debate the value of executives and their strategic moves all day long and probably come to any variety of answers, but remember, it is the pilots that are reason that AA cannot fly DFW-Shanghai or DFW-HKG, not the executives.


As I said in my first post apply that standard to executive compensation for six years like they are asking the workers to do. Not just while AA is in bankruptcy protection. To take more then any other airline executive would give AA management zero credibility to lead the employees.


It is not the pilots responsibility to make the airline run efficiently. If AA cannot pay the pilots enough AND emerge from bk, then they should let USAir take over. The AA pilots already took a giant cut in 2001 and have been flying without a contract for the several years since that contract expired. They are under no obligation WHATSOEVER to accomodate the wishes of AA management. If management doesn't like it - they should give up to US Air. Maybe the pilots should just walk away. They could make double the money in a sales job somewhere. BTW - those of you who like your pilots being paid like bus drivers - I hope you don't have to fly often.


Let's see, maybe - just maybe - the negotiations have been "difficult, frustrating, and painful" because they shot themselves in the foot by rejecting the last deal AA offered them.

Instead of the frustration and pain right now, they should be celebrating their large equity stake in a reorganized American Airlines.

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