American Airlines planes at Miami International Airport

American Airlines planes at Miami International Airport

Airline pilots to vote on potential strike action


American Airlines remains hopeful “deal within reach” despite ballot.

Pilots at American Airlines will next month vote on whether to take strike action over pay and conditions, the move coming just days after Delta Airlines’ pilots agreed a new package that sees a 34 per cent pay increase over the lifetime of their new contracts which run until December 31, 2026, along with improvements in holiday entitlements and other benefits.

However, bosses at American Airlines are hopeful a settlement will be reached even before the ballot takes place, CEO Robert Isom stating that they were prepared to match the Delta pay rise.

But that hasn’t stopped the Allied Pilots Association (APA) authorising a strike vote, which will end on April 30, the APA releasing a statement which reads: “While our negotiating committee reports good progress, we remain steadfast and focused that now is the time to reach an agreement with American Airlines. Management must understand that they need to demonstrate the same level of commitment to bargaining that other airline management teams have shown in recent months. APA must also ensure it utilises all its legal processes for contract resolution and improvement.”

However, even with a mandate in favour of industrial action, there is little prospect of American Airlines’ fleet of aircraft being grounded by a pilot walkout: labour laws in the US would make it difficult for pilots to effectively ‘down tools’ and walk off the job.

With a strike a long way off, the Delta deal will be used in negotiations with many seeing that agreement as setting the standard for future pilot pay negotiations: a deal was reached on a whole range of issues on top of the pay upgrade, including improvements in the work-life balance of a job which is often near the top of most people’s list of high-pressure careers.

American Airlines have agreed to provide their pilots with the same profit-sharing formula as Delta pilots, as well as matching pay rates, and seem fairly relaxed ahead of the strike ballot, believing “a deal is within reach”.

“We look forward to reaching an agreement with APA quickly so that American pilots can benefit from meaningful enhancements to their pay and quality of life,” said American Airlines.

Falstaff Editorial Team

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