The president of the union, which represents around 15,000 American Airlines pilots, says he will vote in favor of a strike when the ballot for a potential walkout opens on April 1.
Captain Ed Sicher, the president of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), confirmed on Thursday that the union would proceed with a strike authorization vote following a resolution from its board of directors earlier this month.
The ballot will be open for the entire month of April, and the results could be made public as early as April 30. If pilots do vote in favor of a strike, the union would have to clear several more legal hurdles before any walkout is possible.
“As APA President, I will cast my vote in favor of a strike — if it ultimately proves necessary — as an affirmation of my resolve,” Capt. Sicher said on Thursday.
“Our message to American Airlines management is clear: You need to demonstrate the same level of commitment to meaningful bargaining that other airline management groups have shown in recent months,” Sicher continued.
The union insisted, however, that it would continue negotiating in good faith with the Dallas Fort Worth-based airline in protracted contract talks.
American Airlines chief executive Robert Isom recently made a direct appeal to the carrier’s pilots, offering a bumper 40 percent pay hike, along with a slew of lifestyle improvements.
Under Isom’s unusual proposal, a top-rated widebody aircraft Captain could earn as much as $590,000 a year – an increase of $170,000 more than what they earn at the moment.
Isom described the deal as a “game changer” that would directly compete with a pay deal recently approved by pilots at rival Delta Air Lines. The APA rejected a tentative agreement last November that would have secured a 19 percent pay rise spread out over two years.
The union has already opened a dedicated strike center to help prepare the groundwork for a possible walkout.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.