After American Eagle pilots overwhelming rejected a 10-year contract with the regional carrier, union leaders said the company expects to downsize the airline.
"We face a very uncertain future," Air Line Pilots Association MEC chairman Bill Sprague said in his message to pilots. "They also indicated we can expect to downsize. We will work with management to determine their implementation timeline."
The union said it will hold its regularly scheduled MEC meeting on April 8 and will conduct a pilot poll to determine its members' priorities.
Keep reading for the full message from Sprague.
March 28, 2014
Message from the Chairman
Fellow Eagle Pilots:
Today you sent a clear message that the concessions proposed in the Tentative Agreement were unacceptable. We are rapidly becoming a commodity that is in short supply. As such, it was difficult to agree to a wage scale that included rates near the federal poverty line for the next ten years. We provide a valuable service that is essential to American Airlines Group. Our reputation for professionalism and reliability is unparalleled, and our compensation should reflect that.
This vote confirms that the MEC's position is consistent with your expectations. In an effort to further define your priorities, we will be conducting a pilot poll early next week. Your participation is essential to the determination of the MEC’s strategies as we move forward. I strongly encourage everyone to participate.
What happens now? The MEC is committed to enforcing our current agreement and is prepared to explore any opportunity that benefits our group and acknowledges the value of the service we provide. There will be a regularly scheduled MEC beginning on April 8th. The MEC will review our position and further refine our strategy.
Based on today’s special Eaglewire, we face a very uncertain future. The company has indicated that AAG will source the re-fleeting aircraft elsewhere. It is clear that any such announcement will have a profound impact on Eagle's business plan. They also indicated that we can expect to downsize. We will work with management to determine their implementation timeline.
The vote is done. Now is the time to stand together as a group. Some of us voted no, some voted yes. However, we are not defined by our individual votes. We are defined by our mission statement:
"The mission of the American Eagle MEC, as a unified and proactive group, is to defend and advance the careers of all Eagle pilots. We will promote the long term success of our airline, while setting the standard for safety in the industry."