The union representing pilots at American Airlines is preparing to commence picketing at hub airports in the coming weeks over continuing disagreements over working conditions and a new contract.
Pilots At American Airlines Will Protest At Hub Airports Working Conditions
It has been a rough summer for American Airlines, with poor weather leading to operational meltdowns severely exacerbated by pilot shortages. Bad weather at major AA hubs like Dallas and Miami are common during the summer months, but a training backlog means a lack of qualified pilots to step in when operations go sideways.
While not as prolific as the meltdown at Spirit Airlines, AA’s continuing operational woes this summer have not only infuriated passengers, but earned the insult of pilots. The Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing AA pilots, holds back no punches:
“Every airline gets hit by weather, but American seems to be less functional in management’s ability to get the aircraft crewed with pilots following a storm…
“They don’t have enough pilots to do the job!”
There’s a backstory, though. The AA pilots’ contract is up for renewal and American and the APA are locked in a bitter dispute over a number of issues including pay rates, seniority, health benefits, and perks like meals and hotel rooms. Having reached an impasse, pilots plan to protest “in the coming weeks” (no specific dates have been announced) at AA hubs like Dallas (DFW) and Miami (MIA).
Public protests never reflect well on the airline and the planned protests will be aimed at pushing along the contract negotiations. The AFA told CNBC:
“Our airline needs scheduling practices that support the safety margin, respect pilots’ and passengers’ needs, and de-risk American Airlines to protect and improve revenue.”
For the APA, all of those issue will be ideally be resolved in a new contract.
While no strikes are planned, pilots from American Airlines plan to protest via picketing at AA hubs this autumn. The protests are geared at raising awareness over pilot issues and strengthening the union’s hand as it negotiates for a new contract.
AA could start to earn the pilots’ trust back by firing DUI Dougie.
Agree. Parker cannot win trust from any group (employees, passengers, stockholders, retirees). The Board of Directors need to wake up and fire Parker!
The pilots (and other unions at AA) deserve it. They wanted the pre-merger team out with a vengeance, now they find out that the grass isn’t greener. No sympathy here.
Why is the union so cheap with their signs? Where is the wooden handle that the signs should be mounted on?
I have participated in 2 strikes as a traveler. I picketed for American Airlines flight attendants during their strike. I also picketed for hotel employees in 2018. In 2018, wearing a business suit, I started yelling slogans while carrying a picket sign while marching in a circle with them. They though I was nuts. My slogan was “What do we want? Union wages! When do we want it? Right now!” I left after a few minutes because there is always a risk of violence.
AA pilots are paid very well, and there are thousands of qualified pilots around the world (be it at regionals in the US or as as expats overseas) that would love to fly domestic runs in the US and live normal lives. The notion of people making six figure salaries going on strike musters no sympathy from me, nor should it from any other member of the traveling public.