Dallas, TX – American Airlines might face staffing shortage for the upcoming holiday period since the pilots union rejected the extra pay for the holidays.
According to the company, they offered the extra pay to make sure they will have enough staff for the upcoming holiday period, but the union turned the offer down for what appears to be the busies period of the year.
AA offered the pilots 50% extra pay for peak holiday days and double pay for overtime hours.
Dennis Tajer is with the Allied Pilots Association, which represents more than 14,000 American Airlines pilots. He says the company hasn’t figured out its most critical issue: scheduling.
“The pilots’ problem is in the scheduling flexibility, the quickness in which they glue it back together and the ability to quite frankly get us connected to the airplane,” he said.
Tajer said that during the Halloween weekend, nearly 2,000 flights were canceled. It happened because of the bad weather the days before the weekend resulting with total fiasco for the weekend days because crews couldn’t get to planes.
“We’ve been talking with them about this for months. And they say, ‘We’ll get back to you in a couple weeks,’” Tajer said. “Well now suddenly there is a sense of urgency. You think?”
American sent a letter to its pilots Tuesday night saying “We are, of course, disappointed, especially since we have holiday pay programs in place for all other frontline groups at the company. But we will continue to look for opportunities to work with APA to support you during the holidays.”
The company is now in complicated position since the Thanksgiving is just two weeks away and there is no much room for additional negotiating. If the company doesn’t find an agreement with the pilots in the upcoming days, they might be forced to cancel many flights for the holidays, especially for Thanksgiving.