American Airlines pilots approach contract agreement, ending potential strike plans
American Airlines' pilots union is in the final steps of agreeing on a tentative contract with management, putting an end for now to any potential strike plans.
Allied Pilots Association announced in a statement its negotiating committee has reached an "agreement in principle" with the Fort Worth-based carrier. That means the union and American Airlines heads are finalizing the terms of a tentative contract that union members then have to vote on, said Dennis Tajer, the union's communications committee chair.
"We are pleased that we've made that first step in that final process, and we're hopeful that the membership looks at it as meeting their standards as they come into this, for not only compensation but for work-life balance," Tajer said.
Last month, 96% of union members participated in a strike authorization vote — with 99% of participants voting to authorize a potential strike, the union announced in a statement May 1. American Airlines pilots picketed at airports across the country, including Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, that same day. They demanded pay raises to rival Delta pilot salaries and scheduling changes to allow pilots more time off.
But Tajer said pilots union members will know the specific terms of their potential contracts before anyone else, and it's up to the pilots to decide if they're satisfied.
"We want to get on with the business of running a great airline and going out and beating the competition while we still care about passengers," Tajer said. "We hope that this is the deal that gets it done."
An American Airlines spokesperson wrote in a statement the airline is pleased to have reached the agreement in principle.
"We have the best and most professional pilots in the business and like all American Airlines team members, they deserve to be paid well and competitively," the spokesperson wrote in an email to KERA.
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