AA and Flight Attendant Talks Conclude
Mediated Talks Break Off – No Deal Reached Between American Airlines and its Flight Attendants
Media Contact: Leslie Mayo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (June 1, 2012) – Talks between the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and American Airlines management broke off in New York late this afternoon following two days of intense contract negotiations. The parties were in mediated sessions attempting to hammer out an agreement ahead of the scheduled June 22nd ruling on the Section 1113 motion in bankruptcy court.
These most recent negotiations, conducted under the auspices of federal bankruptcy court and at the insistence of the judge presiding over the AMR case, represent the most recent episode of a saga that has gone on for four years. The flight attendants’ collective bargaining agreement became amendable in 2008 and the parties have been in regular, though largely unproductive, negotiations ever since. Company management has insisted on dramatic concessions from its labor groups throughout bankruptcy. The APFA maintains that its current concessionary contract is in line with other airlines and that convergence in wages, work rules, and benefits has occurred with American’s major competitors, particularly given the major mergers in recent years.
AMR’s interest in reaching deals with its labor groups has been heightened by the agreements the APFA, APA, and TWU reached with US Airways in April – a significant step toward achieving a merger.
“I firmly believe a merger is the right move for this company,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “Our airline needs a network that can grow and compete with United and Delta. A strong company will provide more job security than even the best agreement American can offer as a standalone.”
The flight attendants, pilots and ground workers agreed to cuts in pay, work rules and benefits worth several billions of dollars in an effort to help American avoid a bankruptcy filing in 2003. Management awarded itself millions of dollars in executive bonuses while reporting a consistent loss in earnings every year since. American filed for bankruptcy on November 29, 2011.