In a hotline message sent to members on Tuesday, Allied Pilots Association president Keith Wilson made a passionate plea to American Airlines pilots to approve the new tentative agreement.
"While martyrdom in the manner of Eastern Airlines is one option, I do not believe that the majority of our pilots would prefer to embark upon a path of self-destruction in order to make a political point or poke management in the eye," Wilson wrote in the note.
He continued to frame the contract vote in blunt terms, "The choices before you are simple: capture the gains that you have enabled APA to secure or remain engaged in a game of “Russian roulette” with two chambers in the revolver having already been turned."
American pilots will vote on ratifying the tentative agreement between November 23 and December 7, with results announced later that day.
Keep reading for the full message from Wilson.
APA President Keith Wilson hotline message
I recently received an
e-mail from a fellow pilot who stated that he would rather see American Airlines
liquidate than vote “yes” for our current tentative agreement. That’s a bold
statement, and along with some very positive correspondence, we’ve also received
our share of similar “chest thumping” via C&R, Soundoff, etc. While
martyrdom in the manner of Eastern Airlines is one option, I do not believe that
the majority of our pilots would prefer to embark upon a path of
self-destruction in order to make a political point or poke management in the
I want to make clear that this is not a fantasy game of Dungeons and Dragons or Call of Duty. We are not on a fictional crusade to slay a mythical dragon or gun down the opposition. This is not a remake of “Braveheart.” This is our future, and it is imperative that you understand that we currently hold that future in our hands.
While there has always been a strong tradition of political opposition within our union, it has moved well beyond what could be defined as healthy, and in fact, it has become poisonous. There are those among us who are driven by a personal and political agenda that has little to do with successfully emerging from bankruptcy with our profession and our jobs still intact. Instead, a relatively small group of former APA officers and committee members who were fired, not re-elected or just plain quit have decided that their political agenda is more important than the needs of the line pilot. They have embarked on a campaign of F.U.D. laced with disinformation designed to appeal to our greatest fears and our most base elements. It is a strategy designed to evoke anger and suspicion. What they have failed to offer is anything that resembles a well thought-out acceptable alternative or solution. To a man, they adhere to what I would refer to as the “Doctor Strangelove theory of mutual assured destruction”: Just strap on the nuke, ride it down to the target and simply wait for the mushroom cloud.
While bankruptcy is undoubtedly an experience that creates a great deal of emotional anxiety, we must not let it color our good judgment. The decision before us must be made using the same calm, cool and collected approach that we use in the course of our decision-making process in flight.
As I currently see it, we have two choices before us: