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American Airlines pilots union agrees to new contract

Staff writer |
The pilots union of American Airlines Group has agreed to a new tentative labor contract that includes a pay hike, ahead of the deadline given by the airline to accept the new five-year contract.

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The Allied Pilots Association board met on Saturday to accept the new contract, and agreed to put it up for a speedy ratification vote by its members. The board was reportedly under pressure to accept the contract before the arbitrary deadline or lose a large initial pay hike.

Allied Pilots Association is the largest independent pilots union in the U.S. that represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines and US Airways, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. American Airlines and US Airways merged in December 2013.

The new contract will provide the pilots an immediate 23 percent pay hike, but will not include work rule change that the APA had insisted for sometime.

Meanwhile, the tentative contract will only be put to vote for the APA member to approve or reject after the contractual language was completed with respect to combining domestic and international divisions.

"The APA board of directors remains unified and committed to concluding this process on a timely basis and delivering the best result. With their arbitrary deadline and without complete contract language, management placed the pilot group in an extremely difficult situation. The board understands that having final contractual language to review and approve is critical and that the membership will settle for nothing less as well," APA said in a post on its website.

The APA noted that the airline is approaching the negotiations as if it remains in Chapter 11 restructuring, despite the record profits exceeding $4 billion forecast for this year.

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