American Airlines ground workers say contract offer is dead

Washington DC
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The union representing ground workers at American Airlines declared dead a contract proposal that was once headed for a ratification vote from union members.

The Transportation Workers Union (TWU), which represents roughly 11,000 fleet and ground service workers at American, has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare a stalemate in negotiations. If the NMB agrees, the mediated talks will end between the two sides. It could eventually lead to a 30-day cooling off period after which workers would be legally allowed to strike.

"We are now at an impasse with AMR," says TWU international administrative vice president John Conley. "We no longer have a tentative agreement and no ballots will be presented to members for a ratification vote. We urge the NMB to promptly grant us release so that we can begin the self-help process."

This is not the first bump in the road for negotiations between the airline and the TWU. In early June, a tentative agreement was pulled back before members could vote on it. A bargaining team representing American workers had decided to send the agreement out, with a recommendation to vote against it. But the union president nixed the idea. "If we can't recommend it, we're not sending it," said TWU International President James Little in reversing the bargaining team's recommendation. "Certain issues on the bargaining table had not been resolved. This agreement should be considered suspended until outstanding issues are fully resolved."

TWU also represents American's mechanics.