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Pilots grounding American Airlines without strike

Labor strife between American Airlines and its pilots is grounding flights and angering passengers affected by flight cancellations and delays. The bankrupt carrier says it has had to cancel hundreds of flights because of an increase in the number of pilots calling in sick. The pilots, angry over a contract imposed on them cutting their pay and benefits, also appear to be causing problems when they do show up. In the last month, four times as many flights as usual have been cancelled for maintenance issues resulting from last-minute plane inspections ordered by pilots. Ray Neidl, an analyst with Maxim Group, wrote in a report that the pilots were the most important labor group at American, and that a deal with them was crucial. He said: We were surprised that the membership voted down the contract offer since it included a large equity offering. As a result of this disagreement AMR has had to cancel a number of flights in the past week due to what appears to be individual pilot