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View Full Version : American cuts back schedule in face of more sick pilots and Mx write-ups


Two's in
19th Sep 2012, 19:33
American Airlines' Canceled Flights Surge (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/american-airlines-canceled-flights_n_1896137.html)

American will cut its schedule for the rest of September and October by 1 to 2 percent due to "a number of factors" including an increase in pilots calling in sick and maintenance reports filed by flight crews, said airline spokesman Bruce Hicks.

American canceled more flights on Sunday and Monday than any other airline, according to flight-tracking services.

Hicks said the company was "constantly evaluating our schedule based on operational and staffing resources" and seasonal patterns. He said the AMR Corp.-owned airline was making changes to ensure reliable service for passengers.

The cancelations come a few days after American imposed new cost-cutting terms on its pilots, including outsourcing more flying jobs to other airlines and terminating one of the pilots' retirement programs in November. Pilots rejected more-generous terms in the last contract offer from American, which has been under bankruptcy protection since November.

Mercenary Pilot
20th Sep 2012, 12:59
Due to the airline being unable to rely on pilots goodwill more like. :=

Pilots rejected more-generous terms in the last contract offer from American

Laughable!

thepotato232
21st Sep 2012, 02:46
Still more than a thousand pilots on furlough from American, with hundreds more about to join them. Seems a pretty quick fix for their "pilot shortage."

Huck
21st Sep 2012, 02:58
Pilots rejected more-generous terms in the last contract offer from American, which has been under bankruptcy protection since November.

Me talk pretty one day.

Airbubba
21st Sep 2012, 16:08
Seems like a pilot sick-out at AA has been tried before, maybe APA figures they have nothing left to lose this time.

What next, faxing in resignations en masse?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense (1905)

Hogger60
27th Sep 2012, 08:40
I am not sure how this will all turn out. But this is one of the best lines about pilots/management I have ever read. This is from a Forbes.com online article:


Itís not clear whether a new tentative contract agreement would lead to any substantial change in the tentative agreement. An American pilot said the current slowdown is likely to result in a better deal. He said American had needed to be reminded of the importance of its pilots. After all, he said, ďIf the pilots donít show up, itís called a shutdown. If the managers donít show up, itís called the weekend.Ē
Best of luck to the AA guys and gals. Hang in there and don't let the bastards get you down.

captjns
27th Sep 2012, 11:49
To date APA have demonstrated courage, determination, and refused to roll over on their members, nor membership. Can any of the other unions, members, or memberships make that claim?

Thumbs up APA! Good luck!

Dropp the Pilot
27th Sep 2012, 11:56
I've seen the practice of calling scheduling and lying about having a tummy ache called many things but that's the first time I've seen it called "demonstrating courage".

captjns
27th Sep 2012, 12:01
I guess you need to experience bad faith negotiation in order to understand solidarity... Don't you think?

Huck
27th Sep 2012, 13:56
They're not calling in sick. That would be actionable in court.

They've just quit acting like the grownups on the ramp. They do their jobs, not everyone else's.

Captains set the pace of an airline. And most of that pace-setting is generated (or not) by the mutual respect and goodwill between them and their employer.

This is not a walmart checkout line we're talking about. You need the help of flight crews to manage an airline. American is Exhibit "A" right now.

Dream Buster
27th Sep 2012, 15:08
USAPA Aerotoxic Newsletter Articles (http://www.aerotoxic.org/news-and-articles/728-usapa-aerotoxic-newsletter)

Any connection or don't real pilots get sick from repeated exposures of toxic cabin air.

:ouch:

jackieofalltrades
27th Sep 2012, 15:46
Am I mis-reading this, or is Denise Lynn stating that for pilots to call in sick is unlawful?

As ATC I would not show up for work if I were unwell, and would not be happy about being told I had to come in. I would imagine the same for pilots, after all, it is a case of influencing and compromising safety if the person is not fit for duty.

I cannot see a case in court being able to prove that a pilot was fit for duty when they have phoned in sick.

jackieofalltrades
27th Sep 2012, 16:31
AMR management are clear:

"We think you're doing this and doing it on purpose...":

Quote:
This unlawful conduct is taking the form of discretionary pilot actions including such things as delaying departures for unnecessary checks, increased and late-filed maintenance write-ups, increased block times due to slow taxiing, and circuitous routings. This behavior has been accompanied by statements from pilots indicating that the activity is intended to ďsend a messageĒ to the Company to express displeasure with AMR management, the Courtís Section 1113 decision and the absence of a new consensual agreement with the Company.


I can see their point of view on these matters. Whether I agree with them is a completely different issue. However, the above aside, it will be a very disturbing path to take if they start taking action against pilots for calling in sick. The 'go-slow' is something different, and more for the legal bods to deal with.

Airbubba
27th Sep 2012, 16:32
American Airlines threatens pilotsí union with court action if slowdown continues

Don't worry, they're just bluffing about taking legal action...

Remember the march to victory of the last great APA sickout and slowdown years ago? The union published the usual admonitions against doing anything illegal while winking at the 'self help'. Seems like AA later forgave most of the fine in exchange for further concessions.

Friday, April 16, 1999

Pilots Union Fined $45 Million For Sickout -- American Airlines Says It Lost $50 Million From 10-Day Protest In Feb.

By Katie Fairbank

AP

DALLAS - American Airlines' pilots union will appeal a $45.5 million fine it received for not halting an illegal sickout that led to cancellation of more than 6,700 flights earlier this year.

A federal judge yesterday fined the Allied Pilots Association (APA) - which has assets of $38 million - for ignoring his order to tell pilots to return to their cockpits during a February job action. The money will go to the air carrier.

American said it lost $50 million in revenue during the 10-day sickout that stranded hundreds of thousands of travelers.

"We strongly disagree with the court's decision to transfer any of APA's funds to management, much less the huge fine announced today," union President Rich LaVoy said yesterday. "As for our immediate next steps, APA will pursue all of its legal options to protect the union and its memberships."

U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall previously had held the union and its top two officials - LaVoy and union Vice President Brian Mayhew - in contempt.

LaVoy and Mayhew had placed $15,000 with the court as damages were assessed, along with the union's $10 million bond.

Kendall scheduled a hearing for Monday to determine how the fine will be divided among the three parties. He also ordered the union to place a second $10 million with the court.

American Airlines said it took no "particular pleasure" in the verdict. "They're victims of this as are we," said airline spokeswoman Andrea Rader. "We went to court to get the sickout to stop. We want to close this chapter and get on with labor peace."

Wino
27th Sep 2012, 17:53
AA had created an interesting problem here, once again they have been too clever by half...

Something that AA has loved to insert into all the contracts is something called a "Me TOO" clause. That means that other employee groups get the same raise automatically if you get one. They have historically used this to artificially restrain pilot compensation at AA ("we would love to pay you this and we think you are worth it, but then we would have to give it to X, Y and Z as well"). However, as part of the bankruptcy they extended it to all the work groups, including non unionized (IE ticket agents). Infact, they arlready had to go back and sweaten some of the earlier deals that were ratified as later agreements were reached.

So here is the the kicker right now. All the contracts that AA thought were wrapped up, signed sealed delivered and implemented are not really closed at all! If the pilots get more, then so do the mechanics and the flight attendants and the gate agents! Therefore, everyone in the airline is motivated right now to make sure that the operation is a total train wreck, and guess what, IT SHOWS!

This demonstrates AA management strategic thinking at its finest. Now they keep beating the drum about how evil the pilots are, but there are a lot of moving parts that make an airline, and all of them stand to profit if the pilots do. Even those with buyers remorse about their consentual deals... So it many not be the pilots, but that's who managements usually chooses to bully, and old habits die hard.

Simply put the management of AA couldn't organize a pissup in a brewery...

fly4bux777
27th Sep 2012, 22:21
Airbubba,

APA paid over 23 million in one lump sum as the first installment of the fine. Carty forgave the second installment since the APA "caved" so nicely on the 2003 contract....

fly4bux777
27th Sep 2012, 22:31
Wino,

"Me Too" clauses expire six months after the exiting bankruptcy. We'll see how the cards are played.....

Wino
27th Sep 2012, 22:52
Yep, anything that happens now if can be very profitable to those that already signed a deal. Remember the company already had to go back and rework the 2 TWU contracts that were signed early in the bankruptcy and give them back 3 percent of what they had taken. They did the same thing the gate agents.

So if the wheels stay off the train till they pony up more money for pilots. Everyone wins. That word seams to be getting out there.

WhatsaLizad?
28th Sep 2012, 01:32
"Me Too" clauses expire six months after the exiting bankruptcy. We'll see how the cards are played.....


Read them again. They also expire once equal concessions are negotiated and agreed to or when implemented by other employee groups.

They pretty much got all their savings with the 12 Sep implemented items. If that didn't add up equal to the 17% "gave" by other groups, then the rest shoved down our throats on 10 Oct surely blow by the 17% needed for the "Me Too" to "Drop Dead".

Ring, Ring, The Clause is Dead.

Airbubba
28th Sep 2012, 16:35
APA paid over 23 million in one lump sum as the first installment of the fine. Carty forgave the second installment since the APA "caved" so nicely on the 2003 contract....

Thanks for that clarificaton, wow. The 2003 contract was the one that 'saved' AA from having to declare the post 9-11 bankruptcy that other carriers went through, right?

To be clear, APA has not authorized any concerted job action and APA disapproves of any such illegal activity. If, as Ms. Lynn alleges, pilots are using their professional discretion to delay departures through unnecessary checks, frivolous maintenance write-ups (and late filing), slow taxiing to increase block times, and taking circuitous routings, that activity must cease immediately.

Hopefully this CYA by the APA will satisfy the court. And, you will always have a few idiots who want to burn the place down to 'teach management a lesson'. It's pretty hard to get fired as a union member but inevitably some folks will always manage to do it and become 'hostages' for the union to include in the next concessionary bargaining session.

So if the wheels stay off the train till they pony up more money for pilots. Everyone wins. That word seams to be getting out there.

So, what you hear is the 'job action' of the 'wheels staying off the train' is working? And the company is being mean if they go to court to stop the sickout and slowdown?

Wino
30th Sep 2012, 03:03
You know its an interesting thing. There have been changes to the entire operation recently, not just the pilot's contract. All the other contracts changed on the same day, do you think everyone else is pleased an enthusiastic at the new changes as well?

Until recently AA used to have mechanic meet or watch the gate arrival of every flight. They did away with that. No mechanics meet aircraft arrivals unless one is specifically requested or something is specifically due (IE airplane going out to Europe in two hours and it needs an ETOPS1 before it can go...) At an Airport like JFK or DFW, the mechanics are actually several MILES away from the aircraft when they hit the gate... Think about that for a while... A well oiled machine they have set up.

Cost cutting... Gordon Bethune, ex CEO of continental was brilliant. He said Imagine 10 pizza places competing against each other. Well one decides to compete on costs. It is possible to make a pizza so cheaply that no one will eat it... They won't do a lot of repeat business... And so it goes...

aterpster
30th Sep 2012, 14:35
AAL's future bookings are toast, which probably assures their demise.

WhatsaLizad?
30th Sep 2012, 16:34
AAL's future bookings are toast, which probably assures their demise.

Is Willie Walsh saying "No problem, I don't care"?

brak
1st Oct 2012, 15:31
To me (as an unrelated outsider) it looks like AA pilots really would like to speed up the demise of their airline. Do they all expect an early retirement? I doubt bankrupt airline will pay them much in pensions ;)

Clipper811
1st Oct 2012, 17:14
brak,

Eff. Nov. 1, all Pension contribution goes away to include any matching of self provided funds. This in contrast to the Management fund which was bifurcated from the same plan almost 15 years ago and placed in a trust.

This looks like another EAL or PAA type situation akin to a divorce after decades of fighting, false promises, and unmet expectations. Adding in the hard press to toss out any pre-nuptial agreements (retirement & work conditions) questions the ability to recover.

It's the quintessential tri-partite airline destruction. Both Management and the union to blame and to a lesser extent the baggage of AA's legacy structure.

A lot in common with QF.

Cheers

Claybird
1st Oct 2012, 18:02
In all fairness, it is worth noting that AA pilots work for less than 1993 hourly pay rates, following the 2003 agreement; they have seen their salaries cut the most among AMR Corp. employees and they, along with the rest of the company employees, made huge sacrifices and gave away lots of things (in the billions of $) early last decade to keep AA solvent.

Disclaimer: I don't work for AA

Two's in
1st Oct 2012, 21:15
In all fairness, it is worth noting that AA pilots work for less than 1993 hourly pay rates, following the 2003 agreement; they have seen their salaries cut the most among AMR Corp. employees and they, along with the rest of the company employees, made huge sacrifices and gave away lots of things (in the billions of $) early last decade to keep AA solvent.


- Right, but the Pilot's beef isn't so much their actual salary as the fact that while they took a huge cut in 2003 to save the company, the senior management promptly paid themselves obscene bonuses and partied on. So it's not just the sacrifice per se, it's the massive injustice and inequality across the company that causes so much resentment.

/Don't work for AA either.

Airbubba
2nd Oct 2012, 01:34
Right, but the Pilot's beef isn't so much their actual salary as the fact that while they took a huge cut in 2003 to save the company, the senior management promptly paid themselves obscene bonuses and partied on.

Looks like the campaign to chase off the customers to get back at the mostly long gone 2003 AA management is working according to this hit piece from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/a-trans-atlantic-trip-turns-kafkaesque.html

Not sure that the author understands the implications of entering RVSM airspace on the NAT tracks with an inop altimeter but the subsequent poor customer service made him want to complain with ink by the gallon in the NYT.

Of course, some of this story could be found on many U.S. airlines, inflight service is often a bad joke compared to Asian and Middle Eastern airlines:

Travel Well: Why Asian Airlines Are Better Than Their U.S. Competitors - Scene Asia - WSJ (http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2012/09/26/why-asian-airlines-reign-supreme/)

Maybe Parker and US Air will be the savior for the APA but I'm not convinced. :confused:

Romeo E.T.
2nd Oct 2012, 07:35
“If the pilots don’t show up, it’s called a shutdown. If the managers don’t show up, it’s called the weekend.”

now that is a classic quoute...loved it :D

Airbubba
2nd Oct 2012, 12:12
Yet another AA hit piece on CNN.com this morning:

Who wants to fly American Airlines? - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/01/travel/american-airlines-customers-complaining/index.html)

Bigmouth
2nd Oct 2012, 20:58
- Right, but the Pilot's beef isn't so much their actual salary as the fact that while they took a huge cut in 2003 to save the company, the senior management promptly paid themselves obscene bonuses and partied on.

Sounds like just about every legacy airline out there. Of course you canīt say the same thing about the locos. The pilots there have never had much of a salary to begin with.
Happy flying!

stepwilk
2nd Oct 2012, 22:19
Not sure that the author understands the implications of entering RVSM airspace on the NAT tracks with an inop altimeter but the subsequent poor customer service made him want to complain with ink by the gallon in the NYT.

Gary Shteyngart is not just a nameless "author," he's a hugely admired, famous and respected satirist. That Op-Ed piece was like Kurt Vonnegut writing one, were he still alive. AA couldn't possibly have done worse in having somebody unload on them.

gtf
3rd Oct 2012, 09:26
Right, but the Pilot's beef isn't so much their actual salary as the fact that while they took a huge cut in 2003 to save the company, the senior management promptly paid themselves obscene bonuses and partied on.

Right but the pilots conveniently forget they were offered a choice:
#1 - Big cut now, bonus later if profits are made;
#2 - Small cut now, nothing later.
Salaried employees (incl. management) took option 1. No prize for guessing which option the pilots picked only to bitch about the missed opportunity later...

In all fairness, it is worth noting that AA pilots work for less than 1993 hourly pay rates, following the 2003 agreement;
And they fly less than their legacy colleagues. To be fair to them, one should point out they accepted lower flight hours to reduce furloughs. Senior pilots could have made more by sticking to higher flight hours, junior pilots would have been looking for employment elsewhere...

aa73
3rd Oct 2012, 20:34
Right but the pilots conveniently forget they were offered a choice:
#1 - Big cut now, bonus later if profits are made;
#2 - Small cut now, nothing later.
Salaried employees (incl. management) took option 1. No prize for guessing which option the pilots picked only to bitch about the missed opportunity later...

If you are referring to the Last Best Offer a couple of months ago- you are completely misguided and flat out WRONG. That POS offer had us flying the A319 at Bombardier C-series wages (not even a B-scale, but a C-scale!). It was also a 6 year contract (which means 10 years in AMR-speak) and had a clause that basically said APA was not allowed to protest management bonuses. It gutted scope to 79 seats. I could go on and on. Yeah, great, where do I sign?

Otherwise, if you are referring to our 2003 Cram Down, as I recall we had no choice but to ratify it or they would take it to BK. A lot of good that did us, eh?


And they fly less than their legacy colleagues. To be fair to them, one should point out they accepted lower flight hours to reduce furloughs. Senior pilots could have made more by sticking to higher flight hours, junior pilots would have been looking for employment elsewhere...

Another BS statement. Do you know why we fly less? Because our illustrious Top Talent management schedules us that way - despite the fact that our contract allowed MUCH MORE productivity. I lost track of the amount of times I'd do a leg into DFW and sit for up to 4 hours before going on to another destination. Now who's fault is that??

I also never recall seeing ANY kind of deal allowing us to fly less. We have always had a monthly max of 78hrs with the option to pick up to 83. That hasn't changed in over 15 years, at the very least.

StrongEagle
3rd Oct 2012, 23:17
From an SLF perspective:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/a-trans-atlantic-trip-turns-kafkaesque.html

BigFootDriver
8th Oct 2012, 22:05
Airbutthead...

You are certainly an AMR managment shill!

Please refrain from typing until you at least familiarize yourself with the facts. Here are some....

the rejected LBFO would result in the lowest wages in the nation.. that act alone would place downward wage pressure on most pilots on this planet.


The rejected LBFO gutted 75 years of hard fought gains for what? So Americans big fat nasty flight attendants could continue to be paid $61 USD per hour to be the worst, rudest flight attendants in the world?

The LBFO would have resulted in the highest paid managers in the world. Some $800 millions USD for the managers for what? Have you flown on an American airlines flite lately? It's worse than bad.

Are you that special? Again you must be a AMR management troll.

Go away and let these guys fight the battle that needs fighting for ALL pilots.

Airbubba
9th Oct 2012, 04:24
Looks like the union campaign to chase off the paying AA customers is working:

American Airlines is losing important customers - Oct. 8, 2012 (http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/08/news/companies/american-airlines-customers/index.html)