American Airlines reaches tentative labor deal with pilots

The negotiating committee of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) union has reached a tentative labor deal with American Airlines management. 

The Friday announcement comes less than three weeks after American pilots voted to authorize a strike. 

American said the agreement-in-principle is for a four-year contract that provides its pilots with pay and profit-sharing matching the top of the industry. The deal would also include “improved quality-of-life provisions unique to American’s pilots.”

The APA said next step toward ratification will be to complete contractual language and to present the contract to the APA board of directors. Ultimately, full union membership will have to approve the deal. 

The strike authorization has not impacted American’s operations. Under the Railway Labor Act, which regulates job actions in the airline industry, American pilots couldn’t strike until the National Mediation Board decides that additional mediation would not be effective. The board would then offer the parties an opportunity to go to arbitration. If either the pilots or American management were to reject arbitration, the parties would be required to wait 30 days before initiating a strike or lockout.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom told company pilots in March that management was prepared to grant pay increases of 21% in the first year and 40% over four years — matching pay increases achieved by Delta pilots. But the APA has continued to press for more concessions related to scheduling and work rules. 

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