American pilots reject tentative agreement, TWU ratifies

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Pilots at American Airlines have rejected a tentative labour agreement from the carrier today, clearing the way for the bankruptcy court to rule on a motion to reject the existing agreements on 15 August.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA)-represented pilots rejected the six-year contract by a 61% margin, with 4,600 votes against and 2,935 for the agreement.

"We are disappointed with the outcome of today's APA voting results, as ratification of the pilot tentative agreement would have been an important step forward in our restructuring," says American. "We now must await a ruling by judge [Sean] Lane that will allow the company to implement the changes necessary to move forward with our restructuring."

The agreement included an at least 15% increase in base pay during the period, a significant increase in the number of regional jets that American could operate and would have allowed the airline to enter into unlimited domestic codeshare agreements with other carriers.

American's pilots are likely to face additional layoffs and steeper pay cuts if the bankruptcy court rules to reject their current contract, says Michael Derchin, an airlines, aerospace and transportation analyst at CRT Capital, in a report today.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU)-represented mechanic & related and stores employees ratified their respective tentative agreements with the airline. They approved the contract by a 50.25% margin and stores by a 79% margin.

"With today's news, we now have ratified agreements with all seven TWU-represented workgroups representing approximately 24,000 employees, which is meaningful progress in moving forward together as we build the new American," says the airline.

American's Association of Professional Flight Attendants are voting on a tentative agreement, which is scheduled to conclude on 19 August.

The APA, APFA and TWU all reached tentative agreements with US Airways in support of a merger of the two airlines in April.