Pilots say labor deal is possible with American
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The pilots' union said Tuesday it could reach a deal with American Airlines on a new contract that would include an ownership stake in the company.
The Allied Pilots Association said, however, that there is still no agreement on several key points.
Pilots voted in August to reject what the company termed its best and final offer, but the union says any deal would include improvements. It would include a 13.5 percent stake in American parent AMR Corp., which was part of the rejected offer.
The union's negotiating committee said an agreement would strengthen the union's ability to influence "strategic alternatives" - whether AMR merges with US Airways Group Inc. - and selection of management and the board of directors.
American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said negotiations were continuing on a deal that could lead to "growth opportunity and security for our pilots and allows American Airlines to successfully restructure." He said the company hopes the union's board will soon approve a deal that could go to a ratification vote.
All of American's other labor groups have approved new contracts that American says will cut costs and help the company emerge from bankruptcy protection as a successful airline. A senior AMR executive said Friday that a deal with pilots could be close.
The union wants a contract with pay raises to bring pilots in line with pay at Delta Air Lines.