The union representing American Airlines’ pilots, the Allied Pilots Association, said that its board of directors rejected the company’s latest offer to the union, meaning that the offer will not be submitted to union membership for a vote.
The board’s Wednesday afternoon vote was 11 to five, the APA said.
In a message to members late yesterday, the APA said, “A number of board members cited the lack of specificity in various areas and the need for additional time to properly analyze various contractual provisions and related language.”
In response, American spokesman Bruce Hicks said in a statement that the company was “very disappointed” with the APA’s decision. While the details of negotiations between the company and the APA, as well as with the other two unions representing American employees, have not been released, Hicks further said the company’s proposal to the pilots included “pay increases, a mid-term adjustment to industry average pay rates, furlough protection, profit sharing, seeking a freeze of the pension instead of termination, and an equity stake in the new American.”
With this latest action, the company and its three unions are now waiting for tomorrow’s expected bankruptcy-court decision on the company’s rejection of its collective-bargaining agreement under Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code. According to the Associated Press, the APA has proposed that the decision delayed in order to give negotiations more time, although the extent to which the parties have any control over the timing of the decision is unclear.
As reported, as the hearing on the Section 1113 motion wrapped up last month in New York, Bankruptcy Court Judge Sean Lane ordered the company and the unions to engage in “mediated negotiations” to be led by fellow Bankruptcy Court Judge James Peck. Lane also announced that he would issue a decision on the matter June 22.
Over the past several weeks, the company and its unions have been holding meetings ahead of the decision. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union have previously reported that they failed to reach an agreement with the company, but the talks with the pilots’ union seemed more promising and were extended in light of “progress made in some areas” (See “American, pilots extend mediation; ‘progress made in some areas‘,” LCD, June 7, 2012) before concluding last week. At that time, the APA characterized some aspects of the company’s latest proposal as a “clear improvement” over its earlier offers. – Alan Zimmerman
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