December 7, 2012

American Airlines pilot vote ending today...Can you handle the truth?

Today is a big day at American Airlines as voting on the November 9th Tentative Agreement between the company and its pilots comes to a close.  Results are expected to be released later today in what has been a history making process in which the pilots at American were the first and only pilot group in the U.S. to have their contract thrown out by a bankruptcy judge and to have terms imposed on them by the company.

American needs a contract with its pilots to more accurately predict future costs.  Without an agreement, it will be difficult if not impossible for the bankruptcy judge and creditors committee to weigh the benefits of the company's preferred stand-alone plan versus the merger opportunity offered by US Airways.  The pilots already have tentative terms in place with US Airways.

American and its pilots have been walking a thin line.  The company believes they need cuts from its employees to survive, and like slowly boiling a frog, American has been imposing terms on the pilot group in a process presumably designed to see what they can get away with and what will send the pilot group into melt-down.  That "melt-down" point was reached in September when the affects of an exasperated pilot group resulted in hundreds of daily cancellations for the airline.

The pilots voluntarily accepted cuts in 2003 that included reductions in benefits and a 23% cut in hourly agreement that saved the company $660 million annually and put American at a significant cost advantage over its rivals.  While the pending agreement does provide a 4 percent pay raise when it’s signed, the balance of the agreement will result in a reduction of take home pay for most pilots as a result of increased medical costs and other contractual give backs.  "The pilots at American Airlines are tired of selling their services at a discount," said an American Captain who wished to remain anonymous.

Voting on the deal ends today at noon central time and the results are expected to be released later in the day.  “I hope every member in good standing takes the opportunity to cast a vote in this critically important contract ratification,” APA President Keith Wilson said yesterday in a message posted on the union's site. “The stakes are too high for anyone to remain on the sidelines.”

UPDATE:  TENTATIVE AGREEMENT VOTE RESULTS: By a vote of 5,489 for and 1,951 against, the APA membership has voted to ratify the tentative agreement. More than 96 percent of eligible members participated in the ratification by casting a vote. Voting ended at noon Central today and BallotPoint then tabulated the results shortly thereafter. APA Secretary-Treasurer First Officer Scott Shankland has certified the results as accurate.


With today's vote in mind, I thought this might lighten the mood.  I can't claim it as my own and I honestly don't know where to give credit as I have no idea who wrote it.  It just seemed appropriate.

Captain: "You want answers?"

Chief Pilot: "I think we are entitled"

Captain: "You want answers?!"

Chief Pilot: "I want the truth!"

Captain: "You can't handle the truth!"

Captain (continuing): "We live in a world that requires revenue. That revenue must be flown by people with elite skills. Who's going to do it?  You, Mr. CEO? You Mr.. Finance? You, Ms. Human Resources? We have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You scoff at the line pilots and you curse our mediocre incentives. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know. And my very existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, drives REVENUE! You don't want to know the
truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at staff meetings, you want me in that airplane. You NEED me in that airplane!! We use words like safety, skill and procedure.We use these words as the backbone of all Professional Aviation. You use them as a punch line! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to people who rise and sleep under the very blanket of service I provide and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a flight bag. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're
entitled to!"

Chief Pilot: "Did you expense the lap dancers?"

Captain: "I did the job I was hired to do."

Chief Pilot: "Did you expense the lap dancers?!"

Captain: "You're damn right I did !!!!


1 comment:

  1. Such a funny post! Thank you! Good luck to you guys.

    askdanny [at]
    A320 F/O SLC (DAL)
    who hopes you won't have to give the other guys a Code Red.