September 17, 2009
Eagle Pilots Protest Outsourcing of Jobs in Chicago
WASHINGTON—American Eagle pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, (ALPA) today demanded that AMR Corporation [NYSE: AMR] halt any plans to outsource Chicago-based flying currently performed by its subsidiary, American Eagle. AMR’s announcement to shift certain Chicago flights to American Connection is “unacceptable” and violates the Eagle pilots’ current collective bargaining agreement.
AMR recently announced schedule changes for the Spring of 2010, including moving American Connection airplanes and flight crews from St. Louis to Chicago. American Connection is the brand for flights operated by Chautauqua Airlines, an independent contractor of regional flying.
“Outsourcing our flying is not only a contract violation, but is an insult to every American Eagle pilot and every American Eagle employee who has personally sacrificed for AMR,” said Capt. Tony Gutierrez, chairman of the American Eagle unit of ALPA.
Since AMR’s acquisition of TWA, Chautauqua Airlines has been providing regional feed to American Airlines on a limited basis in the St. Louis market. AMR decided to drastically reduce service in and out of St. Louis and to transfer some of American Eagle’s flying to Chautauqua.
“Management always said that American Connection contract flying was simply a byproduct of the TWA acquisition” said Gutierrez. “Now, instead of doing the right thing and exiting these contracts, AMR is promoting a third-party airline at the expense of its own employees. We will do everything in our power to stop AMR from giving away our jobs.”
American Eagle pilots maintain that its wholly owned relationship with American Airlines makes it a seamless operation for customers travelling on American Airlines. “The average traveler doesn’t know that American Eagle is one of the few remaining ‘wholly owned’ regional airlines” said ALPA Vice Chairman Dave Ryter. “American Eagle’s relationship with American has definite advantages for the traveling public, not the least of which is the cumulative experience of our pilots” said Ryter.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.
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