To me all of this just seems immensely short sighted. The aviation industry is likely on its way to having a shortage of experienced professionals. Many projections think that this won't just be a pilot shortage. It makes one wonder if AA is playing their cards right. If AA creates a reputation of being unfriendly to their workers it could be interesting to see how much success they have in recruiting in the future.
As one of the worlds largest airlines I am sure that AA will still be able to get people but if they become the "last choice" of the large US carriers they could find themselves attracting lower quality candidates in the future.
Then again, in my opinion AA cares a lot more about todays profits than tomorrows issues so none of this comes as a surprise to me.
To the last point, they haven't even made investors happy. Millions in stock buybacks and dividend payments, and the stock is near its 52 week low. Right now at AA the employees aren't happy, the Customers aren't happy, and Wall Street isn't happy. How does a CEO survive very long with all of these issues?
As for the first paragraph, I can speak to one position in particular (Dispatcher), and it seems they are getting 1000 aps per opening for this position, and hiring 30 candidates at a time. The demand is there still. Same with the pilots, and they even use this thing called an organizational fit assessment. If you fail it, you are done.
That being said, all my friends at Delta, United, and Southwest all seem happy to be there. Not so much at AA.
Sorry, but I've been reading about how horrible AA is for decades. The employees have forced out CEOs and then get mad at the new one. Back in the early 2000s it was so bad they were considering BK then so my Mom and I cashed in some miles to fly F to Japan.
They always say everything is unfair and management is evil, year after year after year. Yet through multiple AA management changes, a merger where US took over, new management since then, doesn't matter. AA is evil, employees are exploited.
Either it can't be fixed or it's posturing. Either way what exactly can be done?
If the Joint contract was the only issue Doug Parker was dealing with that would be one thing. Parkers problem goes far beyond labor disputes. A lot of things have happened at AA under Parker not related to labor that has many people doubting if he is the guy to lead the company. Let me list a few of them.
1. The company has a higher debt load than its competitors. Everyone gets that some debt is necessary to finance aircraft purchases and to make improvements such as with new Admirals clubs and ground equipment replacement. The issue is the company has had plenty of chances to pay down some of this debt and has not done so. Instead of paying down debt, the company has chosen instead to use excess cash on hand to buy back stock and pay dividends. The idea here is to return money to the shareholders by reducing the amount of outstanding shares thus raising the price. However, instead of the stock price going up as a result, the stock currently sits near its 52 week low. Shareholders have actually lost money, and the money that could have paid down debt has basically vanished into thin air.
2. The decision to bank DFW instead of keep it as a rolling hub. This is well documented in other threads, but all I will say is Delta runs ATL as a rolling hub, and AA chooses to bank DFW. If you look at the operational stats for DFW, I bet you will see a decrease in good stats in the time since they decided to bank the hub.
3. The Oasis project. This is a project that could have been really good for the company but certain things associated with this have not been good. For example, removing the seatback monitors while your competitors add them. Also going to 172 seats in a 737. Another issue with this project is the vendors have been doing such shoddy maintenance that AA mechanics have had to spend a couple of weeks cleaning up the bad work done by the outsourced vendors.
4. Going to 8 first class seats on the 319. This actually originally predates Parker as LAA had this config prior to the merger, but instead of going to the more premium heavy LUS config, Parker went the other way. Why a 319 at mainline has fewer first class seats than a 175 at Eagle makes no sense to me?
5. The increase in the number of middle managers since taking over. United had a huge problem for years of a bloated middle management structure. Parker is doing the same thing at AA right now.
6. Reducing the charter operation to practically nothing. AA runs such a tight schedule now that there is practically no room for a Charter operation and only a handful of charters still operate. This has practically handed this area over to the competitors. The only charters left are a couple of NFL teams, and the WWII honor flights.
7. Letting Scott Kirby get away. There is no doubt that Kirby is a big reason why United has been able to turn things around. And Parker let him walk for nothing, and without a no compete clause.
These are just a few things I can mention. None of them are labor related at all.