A deal between American Airlines Group Inc. and the company’s pilot union could be in jeopardy following a possible violation by the union’s negotiating committee.
After a grueling negotiation process, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) announced Friday that it had pulled out of its deal with the Fort Worth-based airline over possible violation of the union’s constitution and bylaws by its negotiating team.
“We have waited too long and come too far to not act with great prudence and care to deliver the contract we all deserve,” said APA President Ed Sicher. “The [board of directors] must be thorough in its deliberations over what has been presented by the negotiating chair. For those reasons, I am rescinding the call for a meeting on the 31st of October.”
According to Sicher, the APA’s negotiating committee was in violation of a bylaw requiring a minimum of two members to be present during verbal exchanges with the company’s negotiator.
Sicher said the APA will reconvene with the committee at a time when the entire board can be briefed on the terms of the proposal, the events leading up to the agreement, and a path forward.
Once a deal is approved by the board, it moves to the union’s general membership for a ratification vote.
“I believe this is the prudent and appropriate course in order to ensure that we all meet our obligations to the membership as set forth in our governing documents,” Sicher said. “We will continue to move forward towards a new contract without delay.”
To date, American Airlines and the APA have been stuck in back-and-forth negotiations for more than three years.
Sicher had confirmed the long-awaited deal in an internal memo to 15,000 APA members just prior to pulling the plug on further negotiations.
As reported by The Dallas Express, the proposed two-year tentative agreement between American Airlines and the APA offered a 19% raise, including an initial 12% to pilots upon signing, with an additional 5% increase after one year and another 2% the next.
The almost 20% raise is American Airlines’ most recent offer to pilots in the hopes of ending years of contract negotiations.
Senior captains and new first officers would see their pay increase by $432 and $101 an hour, respectively. The deal would be effective two years after signing, according to a copy of the deal.
Other aspects of the agreement include an increase to long-term disability benefits by a maximum of $12,000 per month and a nearly $1,100 signing bonus, as well as other “quality-of-life” improvements.