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November 16, 2012

APA board sends tentative agreement to members for a ratification vote

The Allied Pilots Association board of directors voted 12-4 to send a tentative agreement between American Airlines and the union out to pilots for a ratification vote.

"The agreement-in-principle is now a tentative agreement and will be subject to a membership ratification vote," said APA spokesman Gregg Overman.

The union plans to publish a timetable for the vote process later on Friday. The APA board is continuing its meeting through the afternoon.

American spokesman Bruce Hicks said the carrier is pleased that the union is putting the agreement out for a vote.

"We worked hard in concert with the APA’s negotiating committee to structure an agreement that addresses the priorities identified by APA as most important to our pilots, while staying within the same cost savings target that we required from all other employee groups," Hicks said. "We are confident our pilots will carefully consider the terms of the agreement as they cast their votes over the next few weeks."

The tentative agreement, which if approved would last for six years, includes:

  • 4 percent raise on date-of-signing, then annual pay raises of 2 percent after years one, two, four and five with a mid-contract industry adjustment in year three.
  • 5 percent first-dollar profit-sharing program
  • 14 percent contribution to 401(k) plan
  • 90-hour average individual monthly max for pilots
  • No other pilot bases will close until at least fourth quarter of 2013 while the St. Louis pilot base will remain open while an arbitration process continues
  • Regional aircraft are limited to 76 seats and the regional feed aircraft is limited to 65 percent of mainline narrow-body fleet count
  • Code-sharing is allowed with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines with other code-sharing agreements limited to 50 percent of American's domestic available seat miles
  • 13.5 percent equity stake in the new company when it emerges from bankruptcy
  • APA will be reimbursed $5 million for bankruptcy expenses and the union can protest management's compensation

The two sides have been negotiating over issues of pay and work rules for the past several weeks.

The pilots are the only union at American that has not agreed to a new cost-cutting contract. Mechanics, flight attendants and other work groups have already signed new contracts while the carrier's parent company, AMR Corp., has been under bankruptcy protection.

In August, the pilots rejected an offer from American, voting it down with 61 percent against the offer. Subsequently, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane ruled that American could reject its pilots contract and impose work-rule changes the carrier said were necessary to restructure.

UPDATE: The four APA board members who voted against the agreement include Miami base vice chair Tom Copeland, Washington D.C. base chair Carl Jackson, New York base chair Michael Cummings and Los Angeles president Steve Conlon, via proxy.

-Andrea Ahles


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casual observer

It would have been criminal if the APA board had decided not to allow the rank and file to vote on this agreement. It is their futures after all. It would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall during the board vote and hear the reasoning of the rogue four who did not want members to have the final say.

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