DALLAS (TheStreet) -- Leaders of the pilots union at American Eagle, the regional airline partner of American Airlines (AAL - Get Report), have voted to reject a proposed agreement that would have frozen pay rates and guaranteed new aircraft for the airline.
The master executive council of the American Eagle chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association voted Wednesday to reject the proposal without sending it to the airline's 3,000 pilots for a vote.
"The pilots negotiated and signed a concessionary agreement during the recent bankruptcy, and management asked us soon after AAG exited bankruptcy for additional, significant concessions," said William Sprague, chairman of the union, in a prepared statement.
"Our pilots decided they were not willing to work for less than the company is already paying our peers," Sprague said. "We will now begin the process of assisting our pilots in identifying alternative career options within the industry."In its statement, the union said company representatives had "made it clear that should the pilots and management fail to reach a deal, the company will not entertain future negotiations."
"Negotiators for AAG also stated numerous times that if a deal fails to be ratified, American Eagle Airlines will be downsized continually until it is small enough to liquidate," the union said. Now ALPA "will be working with the American Eagle pilots to help them find placement with other airlines," the union said. "ALPA representatives will ask management for their timetable regarding the liquidation of American Eagle. "
It appeared that the union may be challenging management to make good on its threats at a time when it is difficult to find pilots willing to work for the low starting salaries that regional airlines pay.
Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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