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Union head lobbies for pilots' contract with AA

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012

Wilson said in a message to union members that another pilot told him he'd rather see American liquidate rather than approve the latest deal. Wilson responded with a reference to an airline that failed after crippling strikes and lockouts.

"While martyrdom in the manner of Eastern Airlines is one option, I do not believe that the majority of our pilots would prefer to embark upon a path of self-destruction in order to make a political point or poke management in the eye," he wrote.

Wilson, who has said he voted against the company's August offer, said the deal now before pilots is much better.

Robert Mann, an aviation-industry consultant who once worked at American, said Wilson's comments seemed reasonable and aimed at overcoming a "toxic lack of regard for and mistrust of the AMR management team" among rank-and-file pilots.

American declined to comment.

Unions for American's pilots, flight attendants and mechanics support a takeover of AMR by US Airways Group Inc., and agreed on conditional contracts with US Airways. The companies have been talking about a potential merger for two months, but signs indicate that AMR prefers to emerge from bankruptcy protection on its own.