Dallas -- Members of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) at two American Airlines bargaining units have voted to ratify new contract agreements which reduce the concessions demanded by AMR, the airline’s parent company. AMR has been in bankruptcy reorganization since November of 2011.
TWU members at American Airlines who work in Mechanics and Related classifications (M&R) voted in favor of the agreement by a vote of 50.25 percent to 49.75 percent. Stores workers, who work closely with mechanics handling inventory and materials for aircraft maintenance, voted in favor of the new agreement by 79 percent to 21 percent.
“There is a lot of frustration associated with this entire bankruptcy process, which is designed to facilitate concessions and to ensure the reorganization of the debtor, rather than advance the interests of working people,” said TWU International President James C. Little. “That is how it has worked in every airline bankruptcy. Our goal has been to maintain our options and lessen the impact on our members, and these agreements are part of that process. Nobody is happy with a concessionary agreement, and our members are still waiting to see a business plan that instills confidence. But this result a lot better than what our members would have faced with a court-imposed solution.”
The ratified agreements include a three percent pay raise upon signing for M&R workers and three and-a-half percent for Stores workers. Health insurance coverage has been improved from the previous company offer. The six-year agreement includes a market readjustment, based on average industry compensation after 36 months.
For TWU members in the M&R bargaining units, the ratified agreements will reduce overall concessions by $54 million, from $210 million to $156 million. For TWU members in the Stores bargaining unit, concessions are reduced by $4.51 million, from $18.1 million to $13.59 million.
With this vote, these two TWU work groups join the other five TWU groups in making a very difficult decision given the bankruptcy process. All seven TWU work groups at American Airlines now have ratified labor agreements. Fleet Service Clerks, Dispatchers, Ground School Instructors, Maintenance Control Technicians, and Simulator Technicians reached agreements in May, and improved them in June, based on the me-too clauses which are now in all seven agreements.