American Airlines pilots in Chicago have gone on strike over their working conditions and pay.
Employees held signs as part of a peaceful rally to express their concerns about pay hikes and improved work schedules.
The Allied Pilot Association, which represents over 14,000 American Airlines pilots, claims they are overworked and dissatisfied with ongoing contract negotiations.
APA president Edward Sicher said: “For more than two years now, our members haven’t gotten raises.
“We haven’t gotten quality of life improvements.”
“We’re still working under the same work rules we were under during COVID.
“Management right now, the same management team that sold tickets to a service they realistically can’t provide is now trying to run our pilots harder to the limits of their duty days to the point where a lot of us are fatigued.”
Pilots expect greater work-life balance, schedules, and perks in addition to higher compensation.
Dr. Joe Schwieterman, an airline expert, feels that American Airlines has undergone significant disruption due to frequent delays, cancellations, and personnel shortages.
He said: “They’re going in the public and going out into the world that American has to fix its operations.”
Schwieterman said: “They’re performing poorly on customer surveys and you feel that in the cockpit.
“Pilots are fatigued at the stress of the airline right now.”
Picketers claim that American Airlines passengers have also faced issues outside of crowded airports.
Captain Dennis Tajer said: “From June to today, there have been 1.2 million passengers impacted by cancellations by American Airlines alone.”
The air captain says that the airline is unable to provide service due to severe delays and cancellations.
While pilots identify the last several months as a flight nightmare for both passengers and crews, they insist that employees would never sacrifice safety.