American Airlines pilot union rejects holiday pay proposal - memo

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American Airlines planes are seen at the tarmac of JFK International Airport in New York

By Abhijith Ganapavaram

(Reuters) -American Airlines pilot union has rejected the company's offer of as much as double pay for working during the holidays, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The U.S. airline on Tuesday offered bonuses and higher pay of up to 300% to all employees working during the holidays.

With its latest offer, American Airlines was trying to prevent more disruptions after it had to cancel over 2,300 flights earlier this month due to weather and staffing-led disruptions.

U.S. airlines have been scrambling to hire more pilots and flight attendants as they prepare to fly more people after the country opened its borders to vaccinated foreigners.

In a memo to pilots, American Airlines said it was disappointed with the Allied Pilots Association's decision and would continue to work with the union.

The union said its board unanimously rejected American Airlines' offer, preferring to seek "meaningful permanent improvements in a new collective bargaining agreement".

Pilots would have been eligible for a premium pay of 50% over normal hourly pay for flying on 19 peak days during November and December, American executives Kimball Stone and Chip Long said in the memo.

Pilots could have also picked up double pay for open holiday trips not assigned to a pilot.

Shares of American were down 1.5% in early trade.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shinjini Ganguli)

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