Posts Tagged ‘Allied Pilots Union’
October 5th, 2012 at 9:49 am
Enough Is Enough: CFIF Launches for Travelers Frustrated by Pilot Union Misbehavior
Posted by Print

Enough is enough.  It’s time to shine a brighter spotlight on pilot union attempts to sabotage American Airlines.  That’s why CFIF is launching – to ensure that travelers know who’s to blame for their frustrations.  No surprise – it’s the pilots’ union, the Allied Pilots Association (APA).

From time to time over the last five months, Jeff Mazzella, Renee Giachino and I have written about the APA’s antics.  You can read most of those things here or read my op-ed in the Washington Times.  In those commentaries we’ve made each of the following points:

–          The airline industry has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades, forcing every single legacy carrier to reorganize under bankruptcy.  American was the last to do so, holding out until last year.  The cause was simple: With the highest labor costs in the industry (bar far), American needed to do something to become more competitive.

–          Accordingly, American went about negotiating with each of their nine separate labor unions, representing flight attendants, mechanics and pilots. Eight of those nine unions ratified new contracts to help their employer and provide stability for their members.

–          The lone exception of those nine unions?  It was the APA – the primary pilots’ union. The APA rejected a generous offer that included pay raises and an equity stake valued at $187,500 for each of the 8,000 union pilots (13.5% of the company’s value).

–          At the same time, the APA used US Airway’s CEO, Doug Parker, to improve their leverage with American.  The APA cut a deal with Parker in case American and US Airways were to merge – even though Parker’s own US Airways pilots have gone seven years without a contract. (Parker has said that everyone will have their cake and eat it too if he combines the airlines.  That’s unrealistic and disingenuous, but it’s a matter for a different day.)  For more on this, read my interview in the Phoenix Business Journal.

–          Ultimately, if American’s pilots stubbornly refuse to accept a new contract, they could effectively send their employer, or perhaps the entire airline industry, the way of the auto industry.  The difference this time would be that taxpayers won’t be so enthusiastic about bailing them out.

Words are no longer enough. Thousands of travelers have been disrupted by the holdout pilots’ union, and we want to afford those inconvenienced travelers an opportunity to give the pilots a piece of their mind.  That’s why we built – to give consumers a chance to tell the pilots to settle their disputes without inconveniencing the rest of us.