President James C. Little Announces New Merger Transition
Agreement ? Ground Workers Represented by TWU at
American Airlines to Get an Immediate 4.3 Percent Raise if
American Merges with US Airways
Ground workers employed at American Airlines, represented by the Transport Workers Union of America, will receive an across the board 4.3 percent raise -- if American Airlines and US Airways merge. The increase in pay represents significant new money to TWU members. The wage increase and other items related to transition issues in the event of a merger with US Airways are spelled out in an agreement shared with TWU leaders on a conference call this morning. TWU International President James C. Little, will discuss the new agreement with aircraft mechanics and other TWU members employed at American Airlines’ Tulsa, Oklahoma Maintenance and Engineering Center later today.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was hammered out over the past month with representatives of senior management at US Airways and American Airlines. TWU represents more workers at American Airlines than any other union.
"Our members have made incredible sacrifices to keep American Airlines afloat. If there is a merger, their critical role must be recognized,” said Little. “This agreement is a step in that direction,” he added.
If there is a merger, according to the MOU, the TWU work groups will continue to operate under the American Airlines collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, the parties to the MOU affirmed that until a possible merger takes place, the "me too" provisions regarding APA and APFA continue in full force and effect. The MOU goes on to guarantee that the equity grant and other contract settlement terms as approved by the bankruptcy court will be honored.
The MOU outlines the process to develop a combined seniority list in the event of a merger. Seniority integration between US Airways employees and American Airlines workers represented by TWU will be in accordance with federal law under the McCaskill-Bond procedures. The document also makes clear that the National Mediation Board determines whether the two carriers would become a single carrier under federal labor laws.
The MOU itself requires court approval. Further, the terms of the MOU only become effective in the event that the court approves a merger and plan of reorganization.
American Airlines and US Airways have signed non-disclosure agreements that permit the companies to exchange confidential financial information, and allow senior executives to negotiate the transitional terms of employment and integration processes that will apply in the event of a potential merger with TWU (along with American’s pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions.)
In the event a merger has been approved by the courts and federal regulators and after determination by the National Mediation Board (the federal labor agency that enforces airline and railroad labor agreements) that the two airlines had indeed become a "single carrier," the parties have agreed to sit down and negotiate harmonized labor provisions, addressing any differences that remain between the American Airlines and US Airways work groups.
TWU represents more than 20,000 Fleet Service Clerks, Flight Simulator Technicians, Ground School and Simulator Instructors, Maintenance Control Technicians, Dispatchers, Material Logistics Specialists (formerly called Stores or Stock Clerks) and Maintenance and Related (“M&R”) employees at American Airlines.