Air- American Airlines, pilots hit snag on contract- Star Telegram

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

November 6, 2012

FORT WORTH — Talks between American Airlines and its pilots union have stalled over issues of pay and “scope,” meaning specific work rules.

In a message to pilots late Monday, Allied Pilots Association President Keith Wilson said an agreement has been reached on language for most of a new contract.

“The main obstacle to reaching our goal of an industry standard contract is scope — specifically as it pertains to the size and seat capacity of the larger regional jet,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the union does not agree with management’s proposals on the use of 79-seat regional jets, furlough protections and a potential cap on wide-body-aircraft pay increases in the middle of the contract. American is seeking to expand the use of third-party companies to fly regional jets while the union wants to limit their use.

The two sides did not meet Tuesday, although negotiators did talk by phone, union spokesman Gregg Overman said. “We are stalemated over issues of pay and scope,” Overman said.

American did not comment on the negotiations Tuesday.

In September, Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane ruled that American could reject its pilots contract and impose work-rule changes that the carrier deemed necessary to restructure. American has deferred some of those changes while the parties negotiate. The pilots are the airline’s only union that has not agreed to a new cost-cutting contract.

The airline has revised its last contract offer, which pilots rejected with a 61 percent majority in August. In his message, Wilson detailed some of the items that the two sides have agreed on:

A six-year contract, with an option to renegotiate in the fourth year.

Pay raises of 4 percent in year one, 2 percent in years two, three, five and six, and a midcontract adjustment in year four.

A 14 percent contribution to a 401(k) plan; the two pilot pensions were frozen Thursday.

A 13.5 percent equity stake in the new carrier after bankruptcy.

A 90-hour average individual monthly work maximum for pilots.

No other pilot bases, aside from St. Louis, will be closed until at least the fourth quarter of 2013.


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