American Airlines contract offer goes to vote by pilots
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Saturday, November 17, 2012
11/17/12 at 5:17 AM
See previous stories about American Airlines and its Tulsa operations.
American Airlines' Allied Pilots Association will begin voting next week on a proposed six-year contract that would provide for 12 percent wage increases and a midcontract adjustment that could mean additional pay increases of up to 24 percent, APA executives said.
In a 12-to-4 vote Friday, APA's board of directors approved the tentative agreement and moved to submit it to 8,000 APA members for a ratification vote.
APA spokesman Gregg Overman said the pilots will begin voting Friday, with the ratification process concluding Dec. 7.
Bruce Hicks, spokesman for bankrupt American Airlines, said the company was happy with the APA board's vote.
"We worked hard in concert with the APA's negotiating committee to structure an agreement that addresses the priorities identified by APA as most important to our pilots, while staying within the same cost savings target that we required from all other employee groups," Hicks said. "We are confident our pilots will carefully consider the terms of the agreement as they cast their votes over the next few weeks."
Highlights of the tentative agreement include:
In August, APA members rejected American's "final" contract offer.
- A day-of-signing wage increase of 4 percent;
- Annual pay increases of 2 percent at the end of the first and second year;
- A midcontract wage adjustment of 17 percent to 24 percent, depending on the industry average by available seat miles;
- Wage increases of 2 percent at the end of years four and five;
- A 13.5 percent equity stake in the post-bankruptcy reorganized American Airlines;
- A 14 percent contribution to the APA's 401(k) plan;
- A $5 million reimbursement to the APA for its bankruptcy expenses.
The APA is American's only union that has not reached a contract agreement.
In an email letter to APA members Friday, APA President Keith Wilson said he voted against the company's contract offer in August.
"This time I intend to vote 'yes' and ask that you give serious consideration to doing the same," Wilson said.
"I am convinced that we have attained everything possible in our current circumstances and that pressing for more amounts to overplaying the hand we've been dealt.
"By ratifying the tentative agreement, we will lock in our 13.5 percent equity stake, preserve the prospects for a merger between American Airlines and US Airways and retain vital influence over the balance of (American parent) AMR's restructuring."
Along with several banks, Boeing Co. and other creditors, the APA, the Transport Workers Union and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants have seats on the Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the AMR Corp. bankruptcy case.
The three unions have reached tentative contract agreements with US Airways that would be effective in a merger of the carriers, and the unions are pushing for a merger before AMR emerges from bankruptcy.
Original Print Headline: Pilot union will vote on latest offer from AA
D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451