photo9 American Airlines Pilots Picket On Lunch Break

American Airlines pilots protest in support of the Allied Pilots Association on October 31 outside Terminal D at DFW (Chuck Schechner/CBSDFW)

GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – The contract dispute between American Airlines and its pilots may soon be over. But that didn’t stopping some pilots from taking their case directly to travelers Wednesday.

Several hundred American Airlines pilots staged a demonstration outside DFW’s  Terminal D during the lunch hour to show unity in trying to get a negotiated labor contract.

The Allied Pilots Association has informed its members that there could be a contract deal in place by the end of the week. They have been in intense negotiations with American Airlines for more than three weeks, and the airline said that progress has been made on retirement benefits.

Among the issues dividing both sides is pilot pay and outsourcing of jobs to American Eagle and code share partners.

The APA explained that they want a contract commensurate with their status as aviators. A statement from the APA said, “Management has also been unilaterally implementing new terms of employment that adversely affect pilots’ working conditions, compensation and retirement security. APA believes management is attempting to use Chapter 11 bankruptcy to extract far more value from the pilots than what’s needed to successfully restructure American Airlines.”

Craig Thorson with the pilots union says they’re keeping the pressure on American’s management to come to a negotiated labor contract. They continue to push for a merger between American and U.S. Airways.

He doubts AMR when they say that there could be a negotiated settlement by the end of the week.

If the two sides do reach a tentative agreement, union members will have to vote in order to ratify the deal. And the bankruptcy court would have to approve the deal as well.

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