The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Pilot wings seem to be flying away after contract dispute

In 2001, American Airlines acquired Trans World Airlines. Part of the agreement at the time reportedly protected the captain positions of a number of TWA pilots. Following arbitration in a recent contract dispute, those pilots have been given some very bad news. Anyone currently facing contract problems in California may be interested in the story.

The arbitrator of the contract dispute apparently ruled that the protection the pilots were offered is no longer active. At least 85 former TWA pilots who thought they'd be captains for American Airlines are now at risk for being demoted to first officers. American Airlines pilots are slated to take the captain positions that were promised to the TWA pilots when the acquisition took place.

While some might think it's not really that big of a deal to go from captain to first officer, the typical pay rate between the two positions differs by as much as $75 per hour. The unfortunate situation has placed employees from the same company against one another. A lawsuit pertaining to the situation has been filed.

Seniority plays a major role in the flight industry. It often determines pilots' pay, as well as what aircraft is flown and what hours are worked. A representative from American Airlines said the company is reaching out to help support all those adversely affected by the recent arbitration ruling. When lawsuits having to do with employee/employer agreements are filed in California courts, the outcome typically depends on the type of representation a particular party or parties secures before heading to court.


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