One week after pilots with American Airlines voted to reject a final labor contract from management, they are handed a legal victory.
"For the first time ever a judge denied a management request to reject a contract so it was very historic for us", said First Officer Scott Shankland with the Allied Pilots Association.
AMR, the parent company of American had asked a federal judge in New York to void all of its union contracts saying they are costing the bankrupt company one-billion dollars a year.
But the judge rejected the request to dismiss the pilot’s contract saying American overreached in two areas -- one gave the company more power to furlough some 450 pilots. The other gave the company unlimited power to outsource flying through other airlines.
"This provides us an opportunity to get back to the bargaining table. We think all along, AMR should have been looking at trying to get consensual agreements with their labor unions instead of relying on the courts to force them", Shankland said.
But the court did leave the majority of the AMR petition in place so American doesn't see this as a defeat.
"The judge gave a very thoughtful decision today that really in almost every single aspect supported the company’s position on their motion to reject the contract", said American spokesman Bruce Hicks.
On the two points where the judge disagreed, AMR says they will make the changes and resubmit the motion to the judge. They still want the pilot's contract voided.
"We want the judge to approve our motion and we believe with these changes he'll be able to do so because his ruling certainly indicated that", Hicks said.