The two pilots unions at American Airlines may be squabbling about the seniority integration process, but they are unified on one thing: the jumpseat.
Apparently, a US Airways pilot refused to allow a couple of American Airlines pilots to fly in his jumpseat, according to this The Street.com article by Ted Reed.
The incident created a stir among pilots, prompting the presidents of the Allied Pilots Association and the US Airline Pilots Association to issue a joint message to all pilots about respecting jump seat privileges.
"Recent jumpseat-related problems illustrate how we can work against our own interests if we aren’t careful. Reciprocal jumpseat privileges are a valuable, mutually beneficial professional courtesy that we’re able to extend to one another. Let’s keep it that way and remember the old proverb “at home, me against my brother… Outside, me, my brother, my cousins and our neighbors against the whole world,'" the joint message said.
The presidents acknowledged that coming up with a combined seniority list is difficult but pointed out that the two unions have worked together on several issues including developing a 401(k) plan for pilots.
Keep reading for the full message.
APA and USAPA are committed to aggressively representing the interests of our respective pilot groups. It’s what we do.
As we proceed with integrating the pilots of American Airlines and US Airways into one seniority list, we are certain to have differences of opinion. Did anyone expect otherwise? Seniority integrations are inherently difficult.
However, we must be careful not to permit those differences to compromise our ability to deal with other challenges — challenges that we can most effectively address through cooperation. Whether upcoming joint collective bargaining agreement negotiations or issues pertaining to safety, security, training or some other vital component of our professional lives, we will achieve better results by working together.
With USAPA and APA cooperating on numerous fronts for almost two years, we’ve already seen ample evidence of the power of collaboration between our pilot groups. Our negotiating committees worked together effectively during the memorandum of understanding negotiations, which proved critical to bringing along a reluctant AMR management. Our respective negotiating teams have also devoted considerable time to developing a PBS memorandum of understanding. Our training committees share a commitment to pursuing a best-practices approach to pilot training at the new American Airlines. The USAPA Retirement and Insurance Committee and APA Pension Committee have made significant progress toward the establishment of a pilot-only 401(k) plan. Meanwhile, our officers and boards have met on numerous occasions as part of fostering an effective working relationship.
Most assuredly the world won’t stand still for us while we deal with seniority integration. The merger of our two airlines will present us with a host of issues demanding our focus. Meanwhile, American Airlines faces ultra-aggressive legacy carrier competition, low-cost carrier encroachment in near-international markets and the rise of nonunion, state-subsidized Middle Eastern carriers with global reach. Fraternal squabbling won’t further the interests of our pilot groups or enhance the competitive stature of the new American Airlines.
Recent jumpseat-related problems illustrate how we can work against our own interests if we aren’t careful. Reciprocal jumpseat privileges are a valuable, mutually beneficial professional courtesy that we’re able to extend to one another. Let’s keep it that way and remember the old proverb “at home, me against my brother… Outside, me, my brother, my cousins and our neighbors against the whole world.”
As “brothers, cousins and neighbors,” our two pilot groups — soon to become one — need to be unified. Whatever differences we have are far outweighed by our common interests.
Captain Keith Wilson Captain Gary Hummel
APA President USAPA President