The International Association of Mechanists (IAM) and Transport Workers Union (TWU) are seeking recognition of American Airlines and its subsidiary US Airways as a single transportation entity ahead of joint contract negotiations.
The unions together represent more than 30,000 mechanics & related, fleet service and stores employees at the two carriers, which continue to operate separately since their December 2013 merger. Integration on a single operating certificate is not expected until the second half of 2015.
“Today’s joint filing by the TWU and IAM for single carrier status is a positive step in the integration of our two airlines,” says Fort Worth, Texas-based American.
In a joint statement, Tom Buffenbarger, president of IAM International, and Harry Lombardo, president of TWU International, say: “American Airlines has entered into an era of super-profits and it’s now time for our combined 30,000 members at the airline to secure the industry’s premier contracts. Our members, by pooling resources and uniting in solidarity, present the most formidable labor alliance in the airline industry.”
The unions filed the petition with the US National Mediation Board (NMB) for the single entity recognition.
More than 11,000 mechanics, fleet service and maintenance training employees at US Airways ratified a new labour agreement with the airline in July. The move allows for joint contract talks between the airlines and union to begin.
IAM and TWU also announced that they had reached an agreement with American that furloughed employees from the carrier and US Airways would be given preference in hiring.