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'Toxic culture' still bothers American Airlines pilots after meeting with CEO; New contract not being followed, say Union leaders

 

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by   Samuel Morris               Godwin Morris Laurenzi Bloomfield

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 'Toxic culture' still bothers American Airlines pilots after meeting with CEO; New contract not being followed, say Union leaders

'Toxic culture' still bothers American Airlines pilots after meeting with CEO

Conor Shine       

American Airlines pilots talk after the airline's merger with US Airways was announced in February 2013. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

After warning of the return of "toxic" labor relations earlier this month, officials from American Airlines' pilots union struck an uncertain tone this week after a meeting with CEO Doug Parker.

The Monday meeting between American and its pilots union comes after weeks of increasingly public labor tensions."It's unclear at this point whether Mr. Parker views the pilot group's involvement in reforming our airline's culture as an essential ingredient, and we came away concerned about the lack of details provided," officials from the Allied Pilots Association said in a message to membership.

Doug Parker

In a March letter, the union's board of directors warned of the "rebirth of the toxic culture" that has characterized employee-management relations at the Fort Worth-based airline in the past. The letter also alleged violations of pilots' contracts and said measures from a recently signed collective bargaining agreement weren't being implemented effectively.

Parker has acknowledged the complaints and said the company needs to do a better job engaging front-line employees to compete with other airlines.

"They still don't trust us," he said in a presentation to analysts last week.

According to the pilots union, Parker designated chief operating officer Robert Isom to work with the union on its contractual issues and implementation. The union said it requested that American develop an engagement plan by the end of this week and that the union plans to conduct a "progress assessment" by mid-April.

"Our motivation is simple: to secure additional value for our pilots by moving aggressively toward full implementation of and compliance with our contract," the union wrote to its members. "As the airline's front-line leaders, we want to help bring about lasting cultural change and believe a collaborative approach is in our mutual best interests."

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