Within days of each other, the pilots’ unions at American and United Airlines rejected contracts offered by their respective carriers, and Delta pilots authorized a much-needed strike to secure a new contract.
The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which is the certified collective bargaining agent for all American Airlines pilots, announced on Wednesday that its board of directors had rejected American’s proposal, which would have increased the wages of pilots by 19% over two years.
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“Our pilots have told us this in the past, and they reaffirmed today that it’s about more than money. The money will come. It’s about schedules and work-life balance” , Tajer told FOX Business. “It’s literally about being able to set your schedule, so you know when you can do what you need to do with your family.”
Delta pilots union spokesman Evan Baach told FOX Business that Delta pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), worked a record number of overtime hours this summer. .
“We worked longer days,” he said. “We’re spending less time with our families and putting in a record number of overtime hours to get Delta customers safely to their destinations.”
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Like American, Baach said they are working on an industry-leading global contract and while compensation is a big part of that, they are also looking for better working conditions, job security and retirement benefits. and insurance.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons Alaska Airlines pilots, who are also represented by ALPA, voted to ratify a new three-year contract last month.
The new contract, which was overwhelmingly supported by the pilots, included “significant improvements including: increased wages, greater flexibility, better benefits and greater job security,” according to ALPA.
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“When we looked at the Alaska deal, we were amazed at the work-life balance accomplishments they had achieved, and that only emboldened our credentials saying: “We can do it, and we will do it with management,” Tajer said.
Staffing and creating a better work-life balance not only creates a more reliable airline and helps the carrier fly more planes, but it will also attract future pilots, he said. he adds.
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A spokesperson for Chicago-based United said the outcome of the vote was expected after the airline and the union identified issues with the June proposal. He said the two parties were working on an industry-leading new agreement that is expected to include better pay rates and other improvements.
Meanwhile, Delta told FOX Business it was confident, having made significant progress in negotiationsthat the two parties will reach a “fair and equitable” agreement.
American Airlines representatives did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.