American Airlines, Machinists union reach tentative agreement

06/16/2014 9:18 AM

06/16/2014 9:46 AM

American Airlines Group has reached a tentative agreement with mechanics and ground workers at merger partner US Airways.

The airline said the three-year contract agreements are subject to member ratification and cover 11,000 workers who are represented by the International Association of Machinists.

The union was the only labor group at US Airways and American that did not publicly support their merger, saying US Airways managers negotiated deals with American’s unions while neglecting contract negotiations with their airline’s own mechanics and fleet service workers.

The Transport Workers Union represents mechanics and ground workers at the pre-merger American. The Machinists and the transport workers previously agreed to represent the work groups jointly after the merger and after Machinist groups received a new contract.

“We believe your negotiations committee was successful in achieving a stand-alone agreement that addresses the current needs of the membership and provides significant gains in moving forward to the second step of a joint collective bargaining with our alliance partner with the TWU,” Machinists Local 141 said in a statement. The union represents fleet service workers.

American CEO Doug Parker said he was pleased with the agreements.

“We look forward to working together to reach joint collective-bargaining agreements for all of the employees in these job classifications at American Airlines,” he said in a statement.

For fleet service workers, the tentative agreement includes furlough protection, raises each year of the contract and a signing bonus of $1,500. The mechanics’ contract includes 3 percent raises each year of the contract, furlough protection and a merger seniority integration agreement.

Both agreements include additional raises if a new joint contract for the transport workers and Machinists is not in place when the three-year deal expires.

“After the merger announcement with American Airlines, your committees have stood their ground in achieving non-concessionary, standalone agreements that address the current needs of this membership and provides increases moving forward during the time Joint Collective Bargaining Agreements are negotiated,” transport workers Local 142 President Tom Higginbotham said in a message to mechanics. “Your committees believe these Tentative Agreements achieve this goal and unanimously recommend ratification of these agreements.”

The union will schedule a ratification vote after informational meetings are held at all the employee bases, the union said.

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