Articles Detail

May 09, 2012

This upcoming vote is your chance to decide the next step. We urge you, before voting, to carefully review the facts so that you will be fully informed before making this important decision for you and your family. Note that we have made no recommendation on how you should vote. We have, however, provided you with considerable information to assist you in making your choice.

Given the importance of this decision, it is regrettable, but not surprising, that some believe that their particular view of how members should vote is so clearly correct that it justifies misstating the requirements of the law that applies to us, the terms of the choice before you, and attacking those who view these issues differently. We ask that you put these unhelpful assaults to the side, and focus on a review of the facts:

  • The voting opens at 12:01 AM CT on Thursday, May 10, 2012 and closes at 11:59 PM CT on Monday, May 14, 2012.
  • This vote is legally unrelated to the currently proposed US Airways take over and merger. Neither a “yes” nor a “no” vote will prevent this possible merger. This vote is only about what conditions you will work under at AA – in the absence of such a merger it is now unclear how likely such a merger is to take place.
  • If you vote “yes,” you will be voting to accept the April 2012 “last best offer” (LBO) of the company. This will become a binding contract, with a 6-year duration.
  • If you vote “no,” and the judge grants AA’s 1113 motion to reject our CBAs, the Company will be able to impose its March 22nd “ask” proposed before the hearings began on its motion to reject our CBAs, and the Company has made clear throughout these proceedings that this is what it intends to do. If our contract is rejected we will be working under these imposed terms and conditions until we negotiate a new agreement. We have no contract at all and we enter into negotiations for what is in essence a first ever contract. During this period, after we exit bankruptcy, there is no status quo protection. This means that while AA is bargaining, the Company may argue that under past court decisions, it can change anything it wants to change. AA has already indicated that it will only impose the terms of the March 22nd 1113 ask- as we expect. But there is no guarantee that will be the case. As opposed to the situation where there is a consensual agreement in which it is clear the status quo must be observed.

The case law in the jurisdiction in which American has filed its petition states that we do not have the right to strike in the event the Company’s motion to reject is granted and it imposes concessions. The existence of this case law is one reason American filed in New York. We have made clear to the court that we do not agree with this precedent and also stated throughout these proceedings that we intend to strongly argue against the validity of these decisions in the event of contract rejection. However, it is not reasonable to believe that the courts are likely to change their minds, particularly because the decisions on this matter are not only recent, but were decided by the highest federal court in this jurisdiction, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

We have provided considerable information, including actual language and side by side comparisons of the LBO and the March “Ask”. Please carefully review this material. This is an important choice and we urge you to review the documents which describe and set out the terms that will govern your work life depending on the decision you and your brothers and sisters make.

Review the facts…then decide…

James C. Little
International President
Transport Workers Union of America

Robert Gless
Deputy Director
AA System Coordinator
Air Transport Division