Judge Voids American's Contract With Pilots

Federal Judge Sean Lane has ruled that American can void its contracts with the Pilot's Union on Tuesday, clearing the way for American to continue restructuring. The ruling means American Airlines may impose temporary work terms on its pilots while both sides continue to work out a long term deal.

“It’s up to the company to come to the pilots and recognize the sacrifices we’ve already made,” said Captain Scott Iovine.

Captain Kevin Mase says the judge’s ruling is bad for business. Mase also said pilots gave up 23 percent of their salary in 2003 and have made other concessions since.

In a statement from Spokesperson Bruce Hicks, he said “We appreciate Judge Lane’s thoughtful consideration of our renewed Section 1113 motion regarding the pilot contract. But, there is no sense of accomplishment in this outcome. We worked very hard to reach a consensual deal with our pilots, just as we did with each represented employee group. However, the pilots rejected the tentative agreement on August 8, so it is time to move forward. Judge Lane’s ruling is very important because it will allow us to implement the changes that are necessary for our successful restructuring. We will be sharing the implementation plan with the APA, and will communicate details of the plan to pilots in the coming days. Our goal remains to reach a consensual agreement with our pilots, and we are resolute in our efforts to put American Airlines in a position to win and create new opportunities and a brighter future for our people.”

Several of American’s passengers say they understand the company’s problems but believe pilots should be protected.

“They should be treated fairly,” said Matt Beer, who primarily flies American. “They do a very important job for everybody — making sure everybody gets where they need to go safe.”

Captains Iovine and Mase said all options are on the table at this point — negotiations with American as well as a possible strike.

There have also been reports that American Airlines is considering a merger with another airline.

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