A crowd of nearly 300 AMR pilots and flight attendants gathered Friday and marched their membership to the front door of the Fort Worth corporate headquarters to deliver a message.
That message came in the form of a petition, signed by nearly 19,000 members of the Allied Pilots Association and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, stating that the membership has "No Confidence" in the AMR leadership to successfully guide the company out of bankruptcy.
"This airline was the world's preeminent airline. It was a juggernaut. It was a highly successful airline," said Capt. Dave Bates, President of the APA and an American Airlines pilot for 27 years. "[But] it has continued to deteriorate dramatically over the past 10, 12 years. And, frankly, the team that has lead this airline to the position it's in is not the team who should be leading us out."
Bates and Marcus Gluth, Vice President of the APFA, hand-delivered the petition to corporate representatives inside of AMR headquarters.
"The reason this airline runs, on a day-to-day basis, is the employees," Gluth told NBC 5, ahead of Friday's march. "We are targeting a group of managers, about 20 of them, that we think need to separate themselves from the company."
Friday's march comes before a court hearing Monday, where union leaders will ask a federal bankruptcy judge in New York to reject AMR's request to vacate the existing union contracts in an effort to cut costs for the nation's third-largest airline.
In a statement released to NBC 5 Friday, an AMR spokesperson defended the company's effort to dissolve the union contracts.
"We respect the right of our unions and their memberships to voice their opinions. But the contractual changes we have proposed are necessary for our successful restructuring, and similar to the changes other airlines made in their restructurings," said Bruce Hicks of AMR. "This process requires many tough choices and there is no easy way out."