LABOR GROUPS AT AMERICAN AIRLINES TO CONGRESS ON PENSION REFORM:
‘PLEASE RECOGNIZE OUR EFFORTS’
Fort Worth, Texas (September 29, 2005)-As the U.S. Senate moves forward with comprehensive pension reform, the three unions at American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) urged Congress to ensure companies that continue to fulfill their pension funding obligations are not disadvantaged by the final legislation. Congress has been considering a special airline-specific provision that would permit carriers that have frozen their defined-benefit plans to extend the amortization period for full funding to 14 years, and it also includes the ability to use a "reasonable interest rate" while doing so.
"As contemplated, this provision would withhold amortization and interest-rate relief from companies such as American Airlines that have continued to fund their defined-benefit plans and remained solvent both as a result of employees’ sacrifices and the collaborative implementation of an effective business strategy," said Captain Ralph Hunter, Allied Pilots Association (APA) President. "We believe our efforts at pension preservation should be recognized, not punished. American Airlines should be accorded at least the same consideration as companies that have determined they cannot meet their funding obligations."
"American’s defined-benefit plans are the best funded in the airline industry," said Tommie L. Hutto-Blake, Association of Professional Flight Attendants President. "They have been managed prudently over the years and have earned an average of well over 10 percent. We need legislation that does not force us to freeze our plans."
"There should be a responsible alternative to a freeze for companies and their employees that focused on maintaining their plans’ viability," said James C. Little, International Executive Vice President & Director Air Transport Division, Transport Workers Union. "It makes no sense to penalize us for taking a path dedicated to maintaining our historically sound plans."
INFORMATION ABOUT APA
Founded in 1963 and representing the 13,000 pilots of American Airlines, APA is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. There are currently 2,890 American Airlines pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org
INFORMATION ABOUT APFA
Founded in 1977, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the largest independent flight attendant union in the nation. It represents more than 23,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, including more than 4,000 flight attendants who have been on furlough following the events of 9/11. Visit online at www.www.apfa.org.
INFORMATION ABOUT TWU
Founded in 1934, the TWU represents nearly 125,000 workers in the nation’s transportation industries, including 55,000 workers in the airline and government service industry in virtually all Class and Crafts. The Airlines Division represents 42 Locals with 59 labor contracts. The Airline Division Web site is www.twuatd.org.
INFORMATION ABOUT AA
American Airlines is the world’s largest airline, with a fleet of more than 700 aircraft serving more than 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,888 daily flights. American employs more than 85,000 people worldwide.