Two other major strikes threatened the U.S. airline industry last week: Eastern Air Lines' flight engineers, who have been working without a contract since April 1957, threatened to walk out this week unless their demands are met for higher pay, better working conditions and assurance that they will not be replaced by pilot-qualified engineers on the new jetliners. Eastern's 600 engineers expect to shut the line down completely. It may be tough to do: much of Eastern's equipment is twin-engined, needs no engineer, and qualified pilots can operate as engineers on long-range, four-engined aircraft.
American Airlines' 1,500 pilots also set a deadline for a strike this week. As with the engineers, the issue is higher pay (up an average 15% a month to $1,900 for senior DC-7 pilots) and a contract with the line specifying that the "third man" in the cockpit of the new jets will be a pilot as well as an engineer.