Knowing a little about labor relations, I assumes that AA
's first proposal wasn't the last one. The fact that AA
is now willing to freeze all pensions but the pilots's proved that.
By the same token, the unions have to know that AA
won't agree to arbitration. The risk fo getting stuck with contracts that aren't competitve with the industry is too great.
If I were the head of the TWU or the APFA, the question to ask management is how much do you want to spend, in wages and benefits, on our members each year? And, would you be willing to do something to get a number of very senior employees to leave the workforce? Atter management answers those questions, come up with a proposal that fits those parameters.
As for the APA
, besides those questions, I would ask what it would take to get the pension frozen? My guess is to get rid of the lump sum option is part of management's answer.
Here's the question that someone can answer. If the PBGC ultimately takes over the pilots' pension, can a pilot still take a lump sum? I don't know the answer, but I'm betting the answer is no.
If that is the case, then dropping the lump sum option is a no brainer. If the APA
is willing to drop it, then the pension plan being frozen is more likely. If not, then the PBGC might wind up dropping it.