Skift Take

Parker has a growing problem on his hands with the unions who are now less optimistic about his tenure than they were when he took charge. Pilots are only half of his challenge.

The head of the pilots’ union at American Airlines is blasting the carrier’s CEO for skipping a meeting with President Donald Trump to attend a company event in Dallas.

Union President Dan Carey said Friday that CEO Doug Parker missed a chance to talk to Trump about issues confronting airline workers, including the threat from fast-growing foreign competitors.

“For our airline’s CEO to say ‘no thanks’ to President Trump flat-out amazes me,” Carey said.

Parker said he needed to attend an event Thursday for 1,600 employees, where he stressed the importance of managers taking care of their workers. He said he made sure that other CEOs talked to Trump about the industry’s agenda, including modernizing the air traffic control system and reducing taxes and regulation.

The CEOs of Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue attended the White House meeting.

Carey’s union, the Allied Pilots Association, and the larger Air Line Pilots Association, are targeting Norwegian Air, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. The unions and big U.S. airlines say those foreign carriers avoid labor laws or get huge subsidies from their governments that let them expand and threaten jobs at U.S. airlines.

That subject came up only briefly Thursday, and it did not go well for the U.S. airlines.

Trump praised the big investments that foreign airlines make in the U.S. — an apparent reference to hiring U.S.-based crews and ordering planes made by Chicago-based Boeing — even if the money comes from their governments. None of the CEOs challenged him on the issue.

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

This article was written by David Koenig from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Tags: american airlines, labor

Photo credit: Leaders from U.S. met with President Trump at the White House this week. Absent was American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Associated Press

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