One week from today the pilots of Republic Airlines and American Eagle Airlines vote on Tentative Agreements.
For Republic things will improve overall, but is it enough? For over 7 years the pilots of Republic have not had a real contract. They've been negotiating with management all this time to improve pay, quality of life and training. Seven years. Almost out of the blue Brian Bedford (CEO) decides enough is enough and whips up an agreement (along with the Teamsters whom represents the pilots).
There are great improvements overall....but only about 60% of what the pilots wanted. Their demands were not outrageous. My understanding is they wanted to be brought up to industry average. With the new TA they are brought near industry average....but not quite there.
All of this while Republic parks 27 smaller RJs to help staff the larger RJs.
For the pilots of American Eagle things are murkier. I blogged a month ago that the union voted down concessions. Well there was some backstabbing in the union and the end result is the pilots will have to vote on concessions.
The pilots of American Eagle are already working under a concessionary contract that was agreed upon during the bankruptcy of parent company AMR. Management hasn't lived up to the obligations of that contract.
Now the "new" management has stated the bankruptcy contract isn't enough to keep flying forward. More cuts are needed. The cuts won't affect the current pilots much, but will really lower the bar for all pilots new to the airline. This while the parent company will make 3+ billion in PROFIT this year.
Both votes close on the same day...an hour apart.
All the comes as the Regional Airline Association wants relief on the "1500 hour rule" and the new rest rules. Coming later this year a pilot must spend $15000+ to get an ATP rating as they will need six hours of training in a Level C or D (full motion) simulator.
I suspect both airline CEOs see the storm coming. They want to lock in low rates now before the storm hits. Later when pilots are even harder to come by they can "raise" the rates to show they are trying to help the situation.
All regional airline pilots deserve to be fairly compensated for their skills.