The Transport Workers International Union of America, AFL-CIO (TWU), is supporting U.S. Airways’ proposal to buy AMR and merge with American Airlines. That is, if it’s better than AMR’s current standalone plan, and actually happens. The union represents thousands of American Airlines mechanics, but how would this move specifically affect MRO jobs at AMR? Those details are still unclear, we have some ideas.
James Little, TWU’s International President, says in a letter to members that the union will support U.S. Airways’ plan for a possible merger, under the conditions that the airline’s restructuring plan "for labor concessions is clearly less drastic than what AMR has demanded” and that U.S. Airways is legally allowed to enter the bankruptcy process and has a solid plan going forward. U.S. Airways is saying that the merger could save at least 6,200 positions of the 13,000 proposed cuts under American’s standalone plan. The Allied Pilots Association and The Association of Professional Flight Attendants also announced that they support the proposed merger.
“U.S. Airways’ management has approached TWU, as well as pilots and flight attendants, to discuss the changes they would seek in our labor contracts if they were able to merge and acquire American Airlines,” says the memo. “The company is currently profitable and could elevate American to a top-tier carrier. If a merger were to take place, it could help turn around our airline, give us new management and a path towards a more positive future, something that has long been missing in our work lives.”
However, Aviation Week Senior Transport Editor Darren Shannon reported today in his story “US Airways To Keep American’s Name, Texas HQ” that thousands of mechanics could still lose their jobs if this merger were to take place. After all AMR’s original plan says that 4,300 TWU-represented mechanics would be affected by the cuts.
It is worth it to mention that Little adds that TWU is close to finalizing changes for a "last, best offer" from AMR that is very different than what we have seen yet.