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APA Leadership Meeting with Senior Management

At the invitation of the APA Board of Directors, American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker, President Scott Kirby, Executive Vice President-Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom and Executive Vice President-People and Communications Elise Eberwein met in closed session this afternoon with the board, national officers, and committee members to discuss your union leadership’s concerns regarding culture change — specifically, the lack thereof — that is negatively affecting our pilot group and airline.

During the closed-session discussion, several board members delivered prepared messages concerning continued “negative surprises” our pilots are experiencing. In these messages, the APA leadership cited a series of ongoing issues involving American Airlines’ operational performance, our benefits, the impact of management’s scheduling practices on our pilots, and Labor Relations’ role, as well as long-term financial and balance sheet concerns.

To characterize the APA board of directors as underwhelmed by management’s lack of any apparent plan for the long-promised culture change would be a gross understatement. In discussions after the meeting, the board consensus was that management’s dismissive response cast considerable doubt on prospects for lasting change.

To cite one specific example, management reaffirmed its view that departure at “D-0” is a centralized, command decision, and pilots will not be granted decentralized latitude — despite our role as the front-line operational leaders. Management also reiterated its view that when pilots are traveling “A-1” to cover a trip or training, they are valued more than passengers and therefore will displace passengers if necessary. However, when deadheading unscheduled (IROPS/“A-3”) and returning home from an assignment, pilots are not as important and cannot displace passengers. In addition, management clarified its position that taking a “leap of faith” does not mean forgetting about what we have negotiated, and that any improvements will be reserved for the next round of contract negotiations.

The APA Board of Directors will reconvene tomorrow at 9 a.m. Central. During the next couple of days, we will provide additional information regarding this afternoon’s meeting with management and how APA plans to proceed.

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