The Allied Pilots Association, the union covering pilots of American Airlines and its parent AMR Corp., has approved a possible framework for covering pilots if American should merge with US Airways.
Allied’s agreement, which passed the board of directors with an 11-5 vote on Saturday, would be void if a merger did not take place. The managements of American and US Airways, along with the US Airline Pilots Association, have to approve terms of the deal.
Details of the MOU are shaky because the pilot’s union is currently under a non-disclosure agreement, but reports are that it has to do with pilot pay, working conditions and seniority.
“APA is involved in a complex business transaction under judicial supervision and we are therefore legally constrained in the amount of detail we can provide,” according to a brief statement posted by the union.
According to an earlier release, Allied officials are, on the whole, in support of a merger, but there remains a portion of the union that is against the marriage. Union officials have also seen that American management would like to complete its restructuring from bankruptcy before a merger is completed. Pro-merger union officials have said this lack of action by American — and the proposal by a group of pilots that seniority be a major sticking point in merger talks, an argument that the union sees as non-productive when so many other issues need to be worked out — as a way to strong-arm the pilots' union into possibly a weaker deal.
“What we’re seeing is likely a deliberate attempt to sow fear amongst our pilots in an effort to derail consensual merger talks. A small group of pilots, with assistance from AMR management and a former CEO, has been advancing the notion that an integrated (seniority) list should be a precondition to any further consideration of a merger,” according to the union. “Their motives are crystal clear: hold on to the reins of power and control any merger on their terms.” - Jon Ross