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Another news release from APA and ALPA

exeagle

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Release #02.023

April 1, 2002

Pilot Leaders of American Eagle and American Airlines Call for Job Security Through Transition to Single Carrier

WASHINGTON, DC---The following letter was released today by the pilot leaders of the American Eagle Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, and the Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing American Airlines pilots:

Fellow Pilots,

Over the last several weeks, AMR management has made several confusing and misleading statements with regard to the ASM and block-hour limitation provision of the American Airlines pilots’ contract. We want to set the record straight.

On February 1, American Eagle management said that the only way for Eagle to stay underneath the ASM cap was to cancel unprofitable cities, reduce frequencies, park aircraft, and consider selling Executive Airlines. Such actions would clearly result in the furlough of American Eagle pilots. As you know, the Allied Pilots Association made a proposal to management on January 18 that was designed to address management’s stated need to preserve commuter feed to American Airlines and keep the carrier’s recovery going strong. The ultimate effect of APA’s proposal would have been to combine American Airlines and American Eagle. It has never been APA’s intention to cause any additional furloughs at American Eagle or to use this proposal as short-term "furlough protection" for the American Airlines pilots. The proposal is designed to meet APA’s long-term goals by eliminating any scope concerns.

APA made its proposal in response to management’s request for relief from the ASM and block-hour caps that are in effect due to the furlough of American Airlines pilots. American Eagle President Peter Bowler, commenting on the proposal, said that he "was a little confused about how it works." He went on to say that it was not a realistic proposal and that if it were good idea, someone else would have done it. In his February 13 message, American Eagle VP Flight Operations Ed Criner expressed "great concern" about the "continued job security" of Eagle pilots if management were to agree to APA’s proposal. "If APA’s offer was accepted, it is foreseeable that Eagle pilots would continually be displaced from their equipment and hundreds of our pilots would be furloughed," Criner wrote. American Airlines management responded by indicating that it did not have any interest in even discussing APA’s proposal. Criner’s "great concern" about the prospect of displacements and furloughs is nothing more than a classic fear grenade with no factual basis.

In a letter to American Eagle employees on March 14, Bowler said "…unless there is a breakthrough in discussions between AA and its pilots union, we may still be required to proceed with a sale of our Executive and Miami operations at some point in the future." It is hard to imagine that anyone would see this for anything other that what it is: an attempt to circumvent the ASM and block-hour caps. At best, selling off Eagle piecemeal in this fashion would be a definite gamble that does nothing to address the longer-term problem or to enhance shareholder value. Rather than trying to negotiate a solution with APA, AMR management has pulled from their playbook the same old whipsaw tactic. Our pilot groups will not be fooled, and we will not allow management to divide our collective membership.

One of APA’s biggest concerns is the continued outsourcing of mainline flying (flying that is not intended to provide feed) to American Eagle and other commuter air carriers. AMR management has made it clear that "small jets" such as those flown by American Eagle and the American Connection are revenue generators and not feeder aircraft. In 1987, the APA agreed to a "Commuter Air Carrier" exemption to their scope clause. It was never APA’s intention to exempt a major airline such as American Eagle from the scope clause. By combining American Eagle into American Airlines, Eagle would no longer be a competitor to AA.

Meanwhile, there is a very real, ongoing threat to Eagle pilots’ job security in the form of American Connection carriers Trans States and Chautauqua. These carriers have been replacing Eagle in a variety of markets. If not for the ASM and block-hour caps in the American Airlines pilots’ contract, it is conceivable that the outsourcing of Eagle’s flying to the American Connection carriers might well be accelerated.

The leadership at APA and the Eagle ALPA MEC remain convinced that the best solution for all concerned is to transition to one carrier operated under the American Airlines banner. Although management decided not to enter discussions in response to APA’s January 18 proposal, American management and the APA will be addressing the commuter affiliate issue during the course of their current Section 6 negotiations.

As this situation continues to develop, we will keep you informed.



Sincerely,

/s/
Captain Jim Higgins
American Eagle ALPA MEC Chairman /s/
Captain John E. Darrah
APA President

ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest airline pilot union. It represents 64,000 airline pilots at 45 carriers in the U.S. and Canada.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) serves as collective bargaining agent for the 11,000 pilots of American Airlines. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, APA was founded in 1963. The union’s web site address is www.alliedpilots.org.

# # #

American Eagle MEC Contact: James Magee, (972) 896-5317

APA Contact: Gregg Overman, (817) 302-2250
 

Cardinal

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This is really a beautiful thing to see. Amazing that two different unions from two different carriers have "seen the light." The contrast is glaring, seeing that a single union's members can't get on the same page in the Delta house, even the single MEC at Continental hasn't yet put something like this on the table. Hurrah for the boys with the silver stripes!
 

rudderdog

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Cardinal said:
Hurrah for the boys with the silver stripes!


Uh....them there stripes is made of platinum, not silver. At least that's what one of them boys said on the crew bus.
 

surplus1

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exeagle

If you are an Eagle pilot, what is YOUR opinion of this press release?
 

skydiverdriver

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I think if this happens, and American is all one airline, they will be a very strong competitor. They may beat Delta to the punch, but I'm sure everyone else will see their success and join the party later.

I think it's funny when they say "if it's such a good idea, then someone else would have done it." Well,what if everyone said that? What if the Wright brothers said that? Don't you think that's funny? Do you think a CEO of a company, when shown an idea that would make his company more profitable than the others, would say, let's wait until someone else does it first? Then we'll know it's a good idea? Not likely. Good luck to you guys.
 

exeagle

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Surplus1, I am a furloughed eagle pilot who can not speak for others, but I sure do think it is ashame that amr management will not even look into this merger one bit. From what Ive heard, alot of Eagle pilots are very cautious about the jet flying going to the American pilots and all the eagle pilots being attached to the bottom. On the other hand, many feel this is the only way, or one of the ways, to prevent further eagle furloughs. I guess we'll see what happens.
 

Draginass

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We're a long way off from AMR combining the companies. I don't think APA's scope is enough of an economic incentive for management -- nor is AE's scope, even assuming that ALPA gets the CHQ and TSA contracts declared violations.

Delta will obviously beat AMR to the benefits of combining companies when they strap Surplus to a chair in the HQ basement and "make him talk."
 

SF3CA

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I think the more pressure that we (alpa and apa) put on AMR, the more likely they will be inclined to spin eagle off. They are already moving the MIA operation to the EXE certificate to spin that off. I think they are under alot of pressure from wall street to increase value of the AMR stock. Since the business traveler is very slow to return, a quick way to make some cash and boost the stock is sell Eagle. It will be just like co-ex, we will get close......then management will drop the bomb/wedge between the groups.

SF3CA
 

Draginass

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If AMR spins off Eagle, the I think there may be code-share problems with mainline. I'm not a contract expert, but I don't think it's as simple as some think. In any case, management would probably do it anyway, create a fait acompli, and go the normal route by telling the unions if they don't like it, "tough, sue us."
 
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surplus1

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exeagle said:
Surplus1, I am a furloughed eagle pilot who can not speak for others, but I sure do think it is ashame that amr management will not even look into this merger one bit. From what Ive heard, alot of Eagle pilots are very cautious about the jet flying going to the American pilots and all the eagle pilots being attached to the bottom. On the other hand, many feel this is the only way, or one of the ways, to prevent further eagle furloughs. I guess we'll see what happens.

Thanks, that's interesting. The part about preventing further Eagle furloughs, that is.

I just wonder out loud if all the Eagle jets are transferred to AA,to be flown by AA pilots, how is that going to prevent further Eagle furloughs? That would mean Eagle would have to buy a replacement turboprop for each jet transfered to American.

Maybe there's a pony hiding somewhere in that APA proposal, but I see the idea that it will benefit Eagle pilots as a pipe dream.

Since you are already furloughed, if that were to happen you'd best start mailing a lot of resumes.

What I find even more amazing is the ALPA spin by joining in this press release. Fascinating.
 

surplus1

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Draginass said:

Delta will obviously beat AMR to the benefits of combining companies when they strap Surplus to a chair in the HQ basement and "make him talk."

I don't know anything. (with German accent)

Besides, I don't know too many Navy dudes or conservative Republicans that could get much our of an AF type, let alone a Democrat liberal.

Good one Dragin.
 
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Surplus
I don't know more about this proposal than anybody else, but I think the future furlough protection for AE pilots would be a result of dropping the code share agreements with American Connection, the removal of the ASM cap, and projected growth with the SJ's. The proposal called for three phases. 1. Transfer of CRJ 70 to AA 2. Change all existing orders of EMB 140 back to EMB 145 to be flown by remaining APA furloughed pilots and whatever Eagle pilots could hold the jet 3. Transfer of all turbo-prop flying to AA with the remaining eagle pilots. Who knows what the reality may be but's that how my warped mind understands it.
 

justApilot

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Surplus.......By combining the 2 seniority lists there would be no reason for the current scope clause. Scope is what is limiting the growth at Eagle. AA would be free to buy the RJ that they really want...and lots of them. More planes = more jobs. I think it is really that simple. But...hey....I am justApilot....what do I know!?
 

3green

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Very Big

This is a VERY VERY VERY BIG item, not just for APA, but AMR and Eagle pilots. Only time will tell. Anyone know when section 6 will wrap up.
 

Draginass

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There is a lot more than AE related elements to the APA scope clause, including ALL flying on behalf of AA will be performed by pilots on the AA seniority list. That would eliminate outsourcers or domestic code shares.

I wouldn't spend too many brain cells worry about combining AE and AA, though. Judging by the company's attitude, I think it's a long way off, if ever.
 

Airline Pilot27

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Its seems we are inching towards the inevitable. A couple of years ago you would have never been able to get our MEC's together unless it was in a boxing ring. I believe integration would be the best thing to happen to our profession in decades. Time will tell if management will play along but ultimately they will have to.
 

EagleRJ

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rudderdog said:



Uh....them there stripes is made of platinum, not silver. At least that's what one of them boys said on the crew bus.

Hmm... Uniforms told me they were made of shredded AOL trial CDs. And here I thought I was being ecologically correct in using recycled trash!


I'm sure most Eagle pilots, like me, are cautiously optimistic about this. Considering the present state of the industry, I have to say it's the most promising direction for the Eagle pilot group. AMR may not want to talk about the idea, but they will be compelled to soon, since it's becoming clear that it will be at the top of the APA's agenda during negotiations. The next few months are going to be very interesting...
 
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surplus1

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Steve McCroskey said:
Surplus
I don't know more about this proposal than anybody else, but I think the future furlough protection for AE pilots would be a result of dropping the code share agreements with American Connection, the removal of the ASM cap, and projected growth with the SJ's. The proposal called for three phases. 1. Transfer of CRJ 70 to AA 2. Change all existing orders of EMB 140 back to EMB 145 to be flown by remaining APA furloughed pilots and whatever Eagle pilots could hold the jet 3. Transfer of all turbo-prop flying to AA with the remaining eagle pilots. Who knows what the reality may be but's that how my warped mind understands it.

Steve,

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not against combining the pilot groups of AA and Eagle. I also realize it would elimininate the type of Scope that AA currently has (the ASM cap). The devil is in the details of how this would be accomplished.

I also understand the 3-pase concept that you repeat above. What bothers me is what happens to the current Eagle pilots in the process.

Phase 1, does not include any Eagle pilots. Therefore those AE pilots now flying that equipment would be bumped back. Causing further redundancy and more furloughs off the bottom of the AE list.

Phase 2, transfers all the remaining AE jets to mainline "to be flown by remaining APA furloughed pilots and whatever Eagle pilots could hold the jet." That sounds OK, but unless I'm all wet what it "means" is that no current AE pilot is likely to be able to "hold" any of those positions. Do not forget that "remaining APA furloughed pilots" now includes the TWA furloughed pilots too (who are now APA pilots). So, it follows all the AE pilots bump back to the turboprops, which equals still more furloughs at AE.

Phase 3, transfers all turboprop flying with the remaining Eagle pilots. Sounds good again but, when will that happen and how many AE pilots will be "remaining" by the time that it does? In my opinion the answer is very few and none of them will be senior enough at AA to hold anything but the right seat in the same jet airplane they now fly as Captain.

I admit this deal would solve a lot of problems for the AA pilots, but I don't see what problem it will solve for the Eagle pilots. Take a look at your list, note who is flying jets now, compare that to the number of furloughed pilots at AA (which includes TWA). Then take a look at the junior AA/TWA pilots who would be better off in the left seat of the SJs. When you're done with the math, tell me what's left for the AE pilots and where they fit.

If I'm wrong, I'll admit it. One final question. Has any Eagle pilot seen and read the actual document that contains the entire proposal or are you making your judgments based on the summary provided by the APA?

Inquiring minds would like to know that answer too. All that glitters is not gold.

It seems to me that knowing what the reality may be in matters like this is of the utmost importance to a pilot that wants to remain an employed pilot.
 
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surplus1

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justApilot said:
Surplus.......By combining the 2 seniority lists there would be no reason for the current scope clause. Scope is what is limiting the growth at Eagle. AA would be free to buy the RJ that they really want...and lots of them. More planes = more jobs. I think it is really that simple. But...hey....I am justApilot....what do I know!?

I'm just a pilot too. See my post to Steve (above) and then if you think I'm all wet, tell me why please.

Scope is necessary and will still be there. Scope in its present form is what is limiting growth at Eagle and to a lesser extent at AA as well. IMHO, AA hasn't lost a single job as a result of Eagles existence.

Combining the lists has risks as is always the case. How the combining is done is what determines whether the benefit is worth the down side. In the 3-phase plan, I'm having trouble determining what benefit will accrue to Eagle pilots. No job doesn't strike me as one of them.

Correct me if I'm wrong and show me why I'm wrong. Thanks.
 
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