Volume 9
February 26, 2024

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

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Company News

American Airlines Sends Warning to Unions

American Airlines sent letters to three employee unions reminding them of labor laws as several workers plan protests of executive bonuses that were paid out in April. The letters are going out to the Allied Pilots Association, Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union. The three unions are protesting payouts of as much as $200 million to nearly 900 American Airlines senior executives. The unions have opposed the large payouts in light of an estimated $6.4 billion in wages and benefits the unions have given up since 2003 as part of concessions made to keep the airline out of bankruptcy.

As part of the 2003 restructuring that helped American Airlines avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy, labor and management agreed to an Annual Incentive Program (AIP). The three unions collective bargaining agreements cover the AIP, which was structured to align the interests of management and other employees. The unions collective grievances cite the scheduled cash bonuses as "a violation of the terms of the AIP.'

The leaders of the three unions issued the following joint statement:
The elected leaders of our three unions and the employees we represent remain deeply concerned over the irrationality of tying cash bonuses solely to the performance of our stock. Moreover, upon reviewing contractual language governing the AIP, we believe these cash bonuses to be in violation of our collective bargaining agreements.' The letter added: "If we are unable to reach an agreement through continued dialogue with senior management, the grievance arbitration process ensures an eventual resolution. 'A quick scan of the airline industry today illustrates all too clearly what happens when labor and management maintain a traditional, adversarial approach with each other.'

Flight Attendants & Pilots Picket
The flight attendants union has organized a rally and march from its headquarters to American's main corporate office building. The group opted to hold nationwide informational picketing and protest, which took place on April 17. Meanwhile, the pilots union held a national membership unity rally and march from its Fort Worth headquarters. Hundreds of pilots signed up to participate, the group claimed. Federal law prohibits airline's employees from participating in activities that disrupt the airline's operations. "We expect the unions will respect the law, and they're free to express their opinions as they see fit within the law itself," a company official told the Dallas Business Journal.

"Even though American management has touted rhetoric such as 'Pull Together - Win Together' only the top 874 AA senior executives will reap the rewards of employee sacrifices," the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said in a statement. "The flight attendants believe that enough is enough.'


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