American Airlines pilots eye strike authorization

Associated Press Modified: September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm •  Published: September 10, 2012

DALLAS (AP) — The pilots' union at American Airlines is pushing ahead with a strike-authorization vote, while the company says a walkout would be illegal and the vote is just a symbolic tactic.

The Allied Pilots Association is protesting American's impending cancellation of the pilots' labor agreement.

On Monday, the union board approved sending out strike-authorization ballots, which will be counted Oct. 3, said spokesman Tom Hoban.

American, which is in bankruptcy protection, responded by warning that even the union's lawyers say pilots can't legally strike over the company's cancellation of the contract.

Federal law makes it illegal for airline workers to strike without permission from federal labor-relations officials, which hasn't happened. The union's acting president has said that pilots won't strike illegally.

Also on Monday, a union disclosed American's plans to eliminate 1,090 jobs when it shuts down a Fort Worth maintenance facility in December, and that flight attendants signed up to get $40,000 severance payments.

The airline announced plans to close the maintenance facility several months ago. It gave details on the timing and job losses to the Transport Workers Union on Friday, and the union posted the document on its website.

American plans to shut down four maintenance lines at Alliance Airport in November and begin layoffs on Dec. 15, according to the document. AMR Corp.-owned American, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, plans to outsource the work done at Alliance or shift it to facilities at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Tulsa, Okla.

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