THUMBS DOWN: Pilots for American Airlines strongly rejected a contract that would have helped the company cut labor costs, dashing American's hopes of winning voluntary concessions from its labor unions.

BAD HISTORY: The union has fought against management for years. Many pilots hope that American will be forced into a merger with US Airways. Some believed that ratifying the final offer from American would have made a merger less likely.

UP TO THE JUDGE: The bankruptcy judge is expected to rule by Aug. 15 on American's request to throw out any contracts with unions that have not ratified new deals.