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Hundreds of American Airlines Pilots Picket at DFW Airport, Rally for Pilots and Passengers
Day of Action Highlights Pilot Unity as the Allied Pilots Association Continues to Negotiate with American Airlines for a New Contract
FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 29, 2020) — Hundreds of members of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) picketed today at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to advocate for improved operational reliability and respect for passengers’ and pilots’ schedules. Part of a larger “Day of Unity” for the pilots of American Airlines, the picketing marked the largest turnout for any event in the union’s history. Following the picketing at DFW, pilots will gather for a rally at Texas Live! in Arlington.
“The pilots of American Airlines stand together in pursuit of a new contract,” said APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson. “The solutions we are proposing will improve the operational performance of American Airlines, which will in turn improve the passenger experience. It’s in the best interests of American Airlines management to reach an agreement with our pilots sooner rather than later. It’s time.”
This display of pilot unity — which was also evident on social media via the #ItsTime hashtag — comes as contract negotiations with American Airlines management have stretched on for more than a year and as the carrier’s operational performance lags the industry. Passengers and pilots have paid the price in the form of delays, cancellations, and unpredictable flight schedules. It also comes as new airline rankings show American at or near the bottom in categories including on-time arrivals, cancellations, mishandled baggage and delays.
Ferguson noted that management has not responded to APA’s proposals in any meaningful way, despite American Airlines CEO Doug Parker’s stated desire to reach an agreement by the current contract’s amendable date of Jan. 1, 2020. That date has now come and gone due to management’s unwillingness to participate substantively at the negotiating table.
APA is seeking contractual changes aimed at improving scheduling for pilots and passengers and quality of work life for its pilots, and increasing company transparency and accountability. Pilots are also seeking to address gaps in compensation and benefits with their peers at other airlines, and to undertake contract repair by addressing items that were lost in the previous contract negotiations during Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union's website is AlliedPilots.org.