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.