American Airlines Primes Suit Against Pilots

     FORT WORTH (CN) – American Airlines says pilot sick calls and maintenance requests have caused widespread flight delays and cancellations, and that it may sue the Allied Pilots Association.
     First reported by the Dallas Morning News, the airline says it does “not want to pursue a legal remedy, but we will be left with little alternative if APA does not take action to stop those pilots who are intentionally harming the operation.”
     “American’s operations have continued to suffer for more than a week now, and we must take the appropriate steps to ensure our customers and our airline are protected,” American spokesman Bruce Hicks said in a statment. “The recent conduct by some of our pilots is inflicting economic damage on the company, frustrating and alienating our customers, and driving unnecessary work and significant stress for other employees.”
     Airline and union officials had agreed Wednesday afternoon to resume negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement. On Sept. 4, a New York bankruptcy judge ruled the airline could throw out the existing labor agreement with its pilots.
     The release of the threatening letter is particularly ill-timed since an unnamed union official told the Morning News that the union board was prepared to issue a “calm down” notice to pilots Thursday after agreeing to resume negotiations.
     American filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011, citing the need to cut costs and stay competitive. It has since announced plans to fire 13,000 workers and terminate all four of its pension plans as part of a massive restructuring.
     American finished last out of 33 North American carriers in on-time arrivals for 14 of the last 17 days, the Morning News reports.

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