American Airlines sued by its pilots’ union
American Airlines is being sued by its pilots’ union over a plan to ask volunteer pilots to participate in simulator training sessions on their days off.
The Allied Pilots Association filed suit Thursday in federal court in Texas, alleging the airline has breached collective bargaining rules.
The lawsuit concerns the solution adopted by the airline in the event that one of the two pilots participating in flight simulator training is absent, according to court documents seen by Insider.
Normally, two pilots participate in the training session, although only one is evaluated at a time.
Currently, an absent pilot would be replaced by a specially trained check pilot, but the airline wants to replace them with regular pilots, who could voluntarily participate in their day off in exchange for extra pay.
In court papers, the association says it objects to the airline unilaterally changing work rules without negotiating with the union.
“As demand continues to grow and we continue to hire, we need to expand our pilot training capabilities to an unprecedented level,” Lyle Hogg, vice president of flight operations training, said in a note to pilots, according to CNBC.
In the lawsuit, the Allied Pilots Association, which represents about 14,000 pilots, said it was seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to restore the previous rules.
For its part, American Airlines defended the decision in a statement sent to Simple Flying.
“This program is designed to give line pilots the opportunity to support the flight training simulator program, which is good for our pilots and provides even more training capacity to support continued growth,” the airline said.
“The volunteer pilots are highly skilled and experienced, and are responsible for the safety of our customers and fellow pilots every day.”
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