|Dallas Bankruptcy Attorney Mark Ralston Quoted in Dallas NBC News Story Rebroadcast on NBC Chicago affilliate |
American Airlines Threatens Legal Action If Slowdown Continues
|Threat comes amid talks to renew contract discussion|
|September 27, 2012 11:50 pm|
NBC 5 Chicago:
There’s now more turbulence between American Airlines and its pilots.
The company sent a letter to pilots Wednesday night threatening legal and disciplinary action if the flight delays and cancellations that have plagued the airline continue.
"If it doesn't stop we must seek legal action, we have no recourse," said American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks. "Our customers are tired of being disrupted, they're angry and they're upset and they should be."
But after a meeting with union leaders on Thursday morning, the Allied Pilots Association says they will not return to the bargaining table following American Airlines' threatening letter.
"It essentially threw cold water on the process," said Tom Hoban, APA spokesman. "It just doesn't make any sense to hang a sword over our heads and say, 'by the way we'd like to return to the bargaining table.' That's bad faith bargaining."
Hoban says the union cannot work to reach a consenual contract with the airline with the threat of legal action looming.
"The longer this sort of action goes on the more it will hurt both sides because it could result in pilot furloughs, it could result in decreased demand for American as a carrier," said bankruptcy attorney Mark Ralston.
The increase in pilot maintenance requests has come since union membership rejected the company’s last contract offer and a bankruptcy judge cancelled their old contract.
Passengers who rely on American Airlines have been caught in the middle, especially business travelers.
"They need to fix it," said American frequent flyer Alok Fil. "People need the employment. Everybody in today's economy, we all need employment right now."
Ralston believes the company has been surprised by the effect of recent events on operations and that pilots have gotten the company's attention.
"So the question is does management offer something better. And how much better. And how much better does it have to be for the pilots to accept it," Ralston said.
© 2012 NBCUniversal, Inc.
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