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December 12, 2012

APA president thanks pilots for voting and says AMR CEO Horton will address union board on Thursday

Allied Pilots Association president Keith Wilson wrote a thank you note.

In a message sent to members on Wednesday, Wilson thanked the 96 percent of eligible pilots for casting their ballots in last week's contract ratification vote. He also updated pilots on the union's board of directors meeting that began on Wednesday.

Wilson said AMR chief executive Tom Horton is scheduled to talk to the board on Thursday morning to give an update on the restructuring process and "his view of the future."

"As the new owners of a significant percentage of the restructured airline, it’s APA’s responsibility to maximize the value of our investment by conducting thorough due diligence. I believe the APA leadership needs to hear what Mr. Horton has to say," Wilson wrote.

Wilson added that the union "must be ready to move quickly toward a potential merger."

Keep reading for the full letter from Wilson.

-Andrea Ahles

APA HOTLINE MESSAGE DECEMBER 12
I want to thank every pilot who took the time to vote in the tentative agreement ratification that concluded last Friday. With more than 96 percent of eligible pilots casting a ballot, it’s clear that APA’s membership remains highly engaged.
 
I would also like to acknowledge the level-headed resolve you have exhibited throughout the restructuring process. When a decisive majority of you voted against management’s “last, best, final offer” in August, your union leadership responded by conducting a poll to identify where we needed to focus our efforts. Our negotiators then returned to the bargaining table and ultimately secured meaningful improvements in a variety of areas. You responded by voting almost three-to-one to ratify the tentative agreement, indicating that APA had addressed some of the areas of greatest concern to you and made a difficult decision somewhat easier.
 
As we enter the next phase in American Airlines’ restructuring, your level of engagement needs to remain high. Immediately after the results of our vote became known on Friday, the news media began speculating about the prospects of a merger between American Airlines and US Airways. A number of Wall Street analysts weighed in, expressing the view that a merger of the two carriers is all but inevitable. While I will refrain from speculation, we must be ready to move quickly toward a potential merger.
 
As we announced on Monday, the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee has invited APA to join the merger-related discussions that are already underway between AMR and US Airways. By a vote of 14-2, the APA Board of Directors agreed to join the talks and to adhere to the applicable non-disclosure agreement. The US Airline Pilots Association, representing US Airways’ pilots, has also joined the same discussions. As you may recall, these talks began last summer and were put on hold when AMR and US Airways management entered into a non-disclosure agreement. With both pilot groups now participating, we are hopeful that all parties can agree to a memorandum of understanding to protect our respective interests through a transition period that would lead to a joint collective bargaining agreement.
 
The APA Board of Directors convened at union headquarters beginning today at 1 p.m. Central. AMR Chairman and CEO Tom Horton is scheduled to address the Board on Thursday morning regarding the state of the airline’s restructuring and his view of the future. As the new owners of a significant percentage of the restructured airline, it’s APA’s responsibility to maximize the value of our investment by conducting thorough due diligence. I believe the APA leadership needs to hear what Mr. Horton has to say.
 
As we continue executing our strategic plan going forward, we are committed to keeping you informed to the best of our ability. While there will be occasions when we won’t be able to provide as much detail as we would prefer because of legal requirements to keep certain information confidential, we understand how critical it is for you to receive timely updates.
 
In closing, I ask that we set aside whatever differences of opinion may have arisen during the ratification process and stay focused on our many shared interests as pilots for American Airlines. Speaking in a unified voice will maximize our ability to further those interests.
Thank you again.
 
In unity,
 
Keith Wilson
APA President

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Comments

casual observer

Good call to hear out Tom Horton. If anything, he's put your airline back together again quickly and decisively.

Now if you really want to maximize your value... how about getting those planes off the ground on time?

Wings367

Wow, now it's "our" airline, and we must do everything to maximize investment. Only a few days with ownership, and already the union is thinking like management.

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