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American Airlines pilots union expresses "no confidence" in CEO

American Airlines pilots get their Airbus A321 ready for a trip to Boston at DFW International Airport.
American Airlines pilots get their Airbus A321 ready for a trip to Boston at DFW International Airport. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

This Valentine’s Day, American Airlines pilots union did not *heart* CEO Doug Parker.

The board of the Allied Pilots Association voted on Monday evening, expressing “no confidence” in Parker, saying the carrier’s management has failed to implement the pilots’ contract signed in 2015 and seems disinterested in resolving pilot issues.

“Since the merger closed over three years ago, we have witnessed questionable economic and strategic decisions that have created gaps in the areas of customer satisfaction, operational performance, and revenue when compared to industry leader Delta,” said APA president Dan Carey. “These gaps may have a lasting negative impact on the future profitability and success of American Airlines.”

The merger between American Airlines and US Airways was announced four years ago on Valentine’s Day with several American workers unions enthusiastically supporting the deal. However, since the deal closed, the pilots and flight attendants unions said the integration of the two carriers has been slow and complained about the small profit-sharing plan that was reinstated in 2016.

“We have a shared goal with the APA to create a phenomenal place of employment in an environment where all American team members have the opportunity to experience a prosperous and inspired career with lifetime employment for those who desire,” said American spokesman Matt Miller. “We have a solid foundation in place upon which to build and are pleased with the progress thus far. Therefore, further public dialogue serves no purpose.”

APA questioned Parker’s decision to skip an airline executives meeting with President Donald Trump last Thursday. Instead of attending the White House meeting, Parker chose to attend an annual leadership conference with 1,600 American Airlines employees in Dallas.

“His decision to disrespectfully not accept an invitation to meet with the President of the United States has left the APA leadership and many of our pilots amazed at the lack of judgment and leadership exhibited,” Carey said.

The pilots union vote comes as the flight attendants union plans to picket outside of American’s headquarters and at several hub airports today.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants say the company has yet to fully implement its new contract signed in 2014 and they lag other flight attendants when it comes to pay and profit-sharing. Hundreds of flight attendants have also complained that new uniforms debuted in September have caused serious allergic reactions and the carrier has been slow to address the issue.

“American’s flight attendants were instrumental in making this merger possible and it’s high time that the new management team starts making good on its pre-merger promise to end the toxic labor relations and run a world class airline,” said APFA president Bob Ross in a statement about the pickets.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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