DALLAS – Hours after members of the Allied Pilots Association voted overwhelmingly to reject the last contract offer from American Airlines, the APA’s board of directors forced its president, Capt. David Bates, to resign.
The APA announced the news Thursday morning in a letter to its members saying Bates’ resignation is effective immediately.
It became obvious from Wednesday’s vote that the board felt a change of leadership was needed and Bates ultimately agreed, a source told News 8.
Bates told his fellow pilots that he disagreed with the outcome of Wednesday’s vote but agreed to step aside.
“I did not take this action lightly, but based my decision on the conviction that it would be best for our union and the pilots we represent," Bates wrote. "Although I believe that ratifying the tentative agreement would have been the best course for our pilot group, the majority of our pilots signaled their preference for taking a different path. Given these circumstances, I concluded that continuing to serve as your president was not in the interests of the pilots I have been charged with representing.”
Bates was elected to a three-year term on July 1, 2010 and was widely seen as a positive sign to improve strained relations between his labor group and American Airlines.
Since Bates had less than 12 months remaining on his term, APA rules say the board gets to appoint his replacement.
APA Vice President, Captain Anthony R. Chapman, 53, is now the acting president.
Bates, who is based in Miami, has flown both domestically and internationally for American Airlines since 1984, according to the APA.