The merger accord could still collapse, but it has broad support from organized labor and Wall Street. Union support extends to accords for contract terms should a merger occur, and late Feb. 9 US Airways’ pilots approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was supported by 75% of the members that voted.
That deal will provide US Airways pilots with the same pay and benefits as pilots at AMR’s American Airlines mainline division. American’s pilots union already approved its own MOU.
“In the past, US Airways management has refused serious standalone negotiations with your union until seniority integration was resolved. Since management put that argument aside in the MOU negotiations, they can no longer use it as an excuse should the merger not occur,” Gary Hummel, president of the US Airline Pilots Association tells US Airways pilots in a union notice.
“The next step is finding out whether there will be a merger with American Airlines in bankruptcy. We expect that answer soon. If so, we will begin further negotiations with the parties to the MOU regarding the JCBA [joint collective bargaining agreement] and finally, seniority integration,” Hummel adds.
AMR’s unsecured creditors committee, which includes the company’s largest creditors and its three unions, is scheduled to meet tomorrow. The meeting was expected to include a vote on a finalized merger deal, but that is now considered unlikely.