In response, the union established a $4 million fund to help its members during a possible job action.
The current job action comes at a particularly difficult time economically.
"A lot of people are talking about a job action if something isn't done," he said.
But the meeting was called off because of the job action, he said.
At first, the job action seemed likely to last a day or two.
The job action, Times officials said, began the next day.
"We want to have some sort of a job action before the elections."
American estimates that the job action has cost it more than $40 million.
But it was not clear yesterday whether the union's leadership had called for the job action.
He said the company "didn't expect a job action in response."