American Airline pilots have officially voted to authorize a potential strike.
Over 99% of members of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents 15,000 American Airline Pilots, voted to authorize a strike as the union continues to negotiate a new contract with American.
While there is now a potential that American could strike, a full pilot strike would require permission from the federal National Mediation Board and are increasingly rare in the U.S. American has also said that negotiations between the two aren’t far off—a spokesperson for the carrier told the Association Press on Monday that the carrier respects the vote and believes the two can reach a deal quickly.
Still, in a statement, Capt. Ed Sicher, APA President, said that the group which picketed at all 10 of the airline's major hubs on Monday, will strike “if necessary.”
“The APA membership has spoken. We will strike if necessary to secure the industry-leading contract that our pilots have earned and deserve – a contract that will position American Airlines for success,” Capt. Sicher said. “With more than 99 percent of participating pilots voting in favor of authorizing a strike, our pilots’ resolve is unmistakable. We will not be deterred from our goal of an industry-leading contract.”
American pilots are reportedly seeking a similar deal that Delta Air Lines pilots won earlier this year, a new contract that included 34% raises over a four-year period. According to an APA statement, it is also seeking “win-win scheduling and work rule improvements.”