May 2, 2023- All across North America and Europe vacation plans have been thrown for a loop as pilots of the airlines American Airlines have begun to strike.
“The summer travel season is almost here, and we’re all wondering whether this will be another summer of uncertainty for American Airlines,” said Capt. Ed Sicher, APA President. “Fortunately, there is an alternative. By embracing the win-win scheduling and work rule improvements APA has presented at the bargaining table, management can take steps to improve the airline’s operational reliability and efficiency.” Stated a press release by Allied Pilots Association.
Strike authorization voting began on April 1 and ended at midnight Central on April 30 with more than 96% of members of the Allied Pilots Association have voted in favor of authorizing the union to strike. They aim to put pressure on the Texas-based carrier for higher salary and better working conditions – even as the chances of an actual labor disruption remain slim. It would be hard for pilots to actually leave their jobs due to a complex labor process in the US that makes it difficult for airline workers to strike.
Airline pilots have been discussed quite a lot in the travel industry, as a study from last year found that over 75 percent of airports in the U.S. have experienced diminished or lost air service due to the severe pilot shortage.
The Regional Airline Association has stated that 76 percent of U.S. airports have been impacted by the pilot shortages, with more than 500 regional aircraft parked and an “associated air service retraction at 324 communities.”
Currently it is unknown when the strike will begin as federal law places strict requirements on collective bargaining between airlines and pilots, and a specific sequence of events must occur and fail before a strike can begin.