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Despite Legality, AA Pilots Vote On Possible Strike

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The union for American Airlines pilots has decided to hold a strike vote.

While strike ballots are on the way to 8,000 AA pilots, Allied Pilots Association (APA) spokesman Tom Hoban says the move doesn’t mean there will be a strike; it’s just a vote.

“It’s really the first organizational steps in preparing for a strike,” he explained. “In real terms, you’ve got 8,000 pilots out there that are not gonna stand idly by while this corporation dismantles and destroys their profession. So in a sense this is a shot across the bow.”

The biggest question now is whether the pilots are allowed to strike in the midst of American’s bankruptcy proceedings.

“That’s the question before the court and the national mediation board right now,” Hoban said. “It’s a gray area and we’ve got an appeal in the works and we’re simply waiting to hear from the court in that regard.”

American Airlines responded to strike vote with a statement that said in part: “The APA’s own general counsel reminded the union in a memorandum to its national officers and board of directors posted Saturday that any job action would be unlawful.  So, it’s obvious this announcement is simply a diversionary tactic.  American is committed to moving forward with implementing those terms from both the Tentative Agreement and Term Sheet that are necessary for our successful restructuring.  We assured the APA and our pilots on Friday that the vast majority of working conditions will not change from the pilot contract previously in place with the exception of specific changes found by the Court to be necessary for American to reorganize.”  — Bruce Hicks, American Airlines spokesman

The strike ballot move comes after a court ruling allowed American to reject current contracts with the pilots.

The APA expects to get the strike voting results back in about three weeks.

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