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March 10, 2014

Eagle pilot union leaders voted 3-0 to send tentative agreement out for a ratification vote

When American Eagle's pilots union leaders announced on Friday that it planned to send a contract proposal out to its members for a vote, some wondered what made them change their mind as they voted against the same contract a few weeks ago.

Apparently, several of the union leaders didn't change their mind and simply abstained from the vote. The decision to send the proposed contract out for a vote passed with only three of the nine members of the American union's master executive council voting in favor while six abstained, according to a message sent out to DFW pilots from their base representatives, Val Jester and Kelly Paul.

"There were six of us who abstained from the vote.  We have told the company numerous times that we do not want to entertain any agreement that contains concessions. They have not gotten the message and continue to force the issue of concessions at a time when we believe the state of the industry is obviously shifting in our favor," the two representatives wrote in the message.

The message said that DFW, JFK and Miami representatives abstained while representatives from Chicago and AETC voted in favor of sending the contract out for a vote.

The Air Line Pilots Association’s master executive council for American Eagle will schedule a ratification vote on the 10-year contract that allows Eagle pilots to fly new larger regional aircraft in exchange for freezing pilot pay scales until 2018 and the elimination of profit-sharing.

Voting will begin on March 13 and close on March 28.

Keep reading for the full message from Jester and Paul on why they did not vote to send the contract out to members.

-Andrea Ahles

Fellow DFW pilots,

We have some interesting news from Herndon.  The company has once again put us into a situation where we are voting on a new and improved version of the AIP.  Mine and Kelly’s opinion was that the AIP was dead and we didn’t have anything to vote on.

Another note was the reoccurring theme from the new AAG management was that the MEC did not represent the Eagle pilots.  They kept asking how 5 pilots could make a decision of this magnitude for the rest of Eagle pilots.  Interestingly, our management appeared to have no qualms about a few managers making the decision to drag the Eagle pilots into this self-manufactured crisis.

There were six of us who abstained from the vote.  We have told the company numerous times that we do not want to entertain any agreement that contains concessions. They have not gotten the message and continue to force the issue of concessions at a time when we believe the state of the industry is obviously shifting in our favor.

Kelly and I have grown weary of AAG management and a few vocal eagle pilots repeatedly stating that we had “robbed” or “stolen” the vote of the Eagle pilots; that the Eagle pilots did not get to have their say.  While we were in Herndon, there was another attempt by management to make minor improvements to the AIP in conjunction with another time threat.  In that light, the six of us decided that we did not want to vote on something that was already dead.  We also decided to finally put an end to management’s claim that we were not allowing the pilots to speak.  It was agreed among the majority of the members of the MEC that unless we finally lay this question to rest, this drama would continue to resurface until the AIP was finally polished to the shine where 51% of Eagle pilots would vote for it.  What we have heard from you in addition to your trust and instruction was “when will this finally be over?”

We are keenly aware that the majority of DFW pilots asked that we not bring this to the pilots for a vote.  We are deeply aware of the obligation that rests with the trust you have in us to represent your interests.  We believe we have accomplished that to the best of our ability.  Now we are handing that vote back to you.  We know some of you will not be sanguine with this.  We humbly ask that you consider our words and reasoning.

AIP is coming to the pilot group for a vote.  You will be asked to make a decision on whether this grab for money just prior to a time when Kelly and I believe the industry is changing dramatically in our favor is acceptable for the next 10 years.  We both remain available to your questions and comments

The vote was 3 votes yes (ORD and AETC),  0 votes no and 6 abstained (DFW, JFK and MIA)

Stay Strong, Stay Engaged,

Together,

Val and Kelly

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