The head of the Alled Pilots Association had strong words for his members as they get ready to vote on American Airlines final contract offer. These pilots are in about the same spot as the Hostess bakers' union, where there is so much anger, they appear ready to cut off their nose to spite their face. From today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
FORT WORTH -- Allied Pilots Association President Keith Wilson wants American Airlines pilots to keep a few things in mind when they vote on the new tentative agreement with the bankrupt carrier.
Voting is not a game like " Dungeons and Dragons or Call of Duty."
"This is not a remake of Braveheart."
Do not play "Russian Roulette with two chambers in the revolver having already been turned."
Wilson used that stark language in a Tuesday message sent to his members in a passionate plea to approve the tentative contract deal.
Last week, the APA board of directors voted to send the agreement to its membership for a ratification vote. The agreement includes pay raises and a 13.5 percent equity stake in the carrier when it emerges from bankruptcy, in exchange for broader code-sharing with other domestic airlines and the ability to use more 76-seat regional jets.
American declined to comment.
"While martyrdom in the manner of Eastern Airlines is one option, I do not believe that the majority of our pilots would prefer to embark upon a path of self-destruction in order to make a political point or poke management in the eye," Wilson wrote in the note, adding that his message was in response to an e-mail from a pilot who said he would rather see the carrier liquidate than vote for the contract. Eastern shut down in 1991 two years after filing for bankruptcy triggered by a strike.
Pilots vote electronically from Friday until Dec. 7. The results are to be announced later that day.
The pilots are the only union at American that has not agreed to a new cost-cutting contract. Mechanics, flight attendants and other work groups have already signed contracts while the carrier's parent company, AMR Corp., which is under bankruptcy protection.
In August, the pilots soundly rejected an offer from American, with 61 percent voting against. Following that contract vote, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane allowed American to reject the pilots contract and impose work rule changes.
Wilson outlined two options he believed are in front of pilots: Pilots can approve the agreement, which he said will keep their careers on path towards an industry standard contract, or can reject it and risk what happens as American tries to restructure.
"The choices before you are simple: capture the gains that you have enabled APA to secure or remain engaged in a game of 'Russian roulette,'" Wilson wrote. "I believe we have reached the point that economists refer to as diminished marginal returns, at which pushing for more will get us less. The choice is yours to make."
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/11...#storylink=cpy