American Airlines was criticized in a union letter sent to pilots for failing to implement every provision of a labor contract signed a year ago, according to Monday reports.
Allied Pilots Association President Keith Wilson listed a number of failures including employee relations and contract issues in a letter obtained by Forbes. The union accused the airline of not properly implementing the labor contract it has with them. The airline, however, argues it will take time to implement contract provisions since it is still upgrading systems from a 2013 merger. The letter was first sent Saturday to the 15,000 unionized pilots employed by the airline.
“We have all witnessed a culture gone awry,” Wilson wrote in the letter. “The misalignment of management goals is beginning to bleed over to both our operational performance and customer service.”
Wilson cited several issues including compensation lagging behind rival airlines and scheduling and paycheck miscalculations. He also noted pilots are fatigued and issued degraded hotel rooms for overnight stays. A number of provisions from the contract approved last January have not yet been implemented, and American Airlines Spokesman Casey Norton noted it will take time to implement every provision.
“We are investing millions of dollars and an incredible amount of resources to address these problems,” Norton told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Unfortunately we cannot address all those issues at the same time.”
Management has worked to update and integrate systems since it merged with US Airways Express back in December 2013. Many of the systems are utilized by the airline to help with compensation and scheduling, and the labor agreement simply adds to an already complex process. Norton claimed despite the problems, the airline is not in violation of the contract.
“We are aware of all these concerns,” Norton continued. “We’re working well within the terms of the contract to address the problems.”
The letter also noted the airline withheld income tax and retirement contributions. The labor agreement includes a 23 percent pay raise which will be followed by three percent raises annually until the next contract.
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