You mean all that was for nothing? The last year or year-and-a-half has been a tough one for American Airlines, not least because it’s been in bickering, er, we mean, negotiations, with its pilot union. We thought all the back and forth was important, but it turns out it was all really a mere vorspeis, an appetiser, for the main course. That’s because the Allied Pilots Association’s contract with American didn’t actually become amendable until May 1, and that the last 18 months or so of forth, back, and forth has largely been for naught.
"The early-opener provision was designed to enable the two parties to reach a new agreement by the contract's amendable date," says APA president Lloyd Hill. "Clearly, this provision has not produced the desired result, as evidenced by the lack of progress at the bargaining table." Hill noted that management triggered the early-opener provision in the contact.
Over the last few months, the pilots have made a number of modest proposals such as one for a 30% wage increase, have protested at major American customers (see the photo) and have run ads mocking American’s cancellations and the like, which as we saw it were caused by the FAA. It’s also an anniversary: it’s just over five years since the pilots made a last-minute series of concessions worth about $1.6 billion to keep American away from the bankruptcy courthouse.