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6.01.12 – (LAA) – Bankruptcy, Talks with AA Break Off

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for the week ending June 1, 2012.

Today, mediated talks between AA and APFA broke off in New York without a deal. APFA is disappointed, but not surprised.†

So, what’s next? The pilots will meet with AA and Judge James Peck who is mediating these sessions beginning Monday, June 4th. Following that, TWU will attempt to reach a deal under the same circumstances. If no deal is reached before June 22,†Judge Lane will render a verdict regarding AMR’s 1113 request to abrogate our contracts and impose its Term Sheet.†

If the judge chooses to grant AMR’s request, the timing with which management will implement Term Sheet changes is, as yet, undetermined. AA has†not shared that information with us. We remain hopeful that the judge will see what AA’s labor leaders, industry experts and the Wall Street analysts†already know: AA’s standalone business plan isn’t the answer to American Airlines’ future success; a merger with US Airways is. A copy of all of the†court transcripts beginning with AMR’s Opening Statement on April 23rd and ending with APFA, TWU, APA, the Creditors’ Committee and AMR’s closing statements on May 25th can be found on the†bankruptcy page at††Click here†to download.

APFA issued the following press release this evening:

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 22 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 ñ 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.

Executive Committee
APFA’s Executive Committee met in Boston on Thursday. Resolutions from that meeting will be posted on APFA’s web site within the time limits set†forth by APFA’s constitution.†

Legislative Update
APFA continues to lobby Congress in support of a merge with US Airways. We encourage all of our members to contact their Representatives via†APFA’s CapWiz web site†to show your individual support, as well.†

APFA’s Government Affairs Representative†Julie Frederick-Tandy†attended a†Women of Labor†luncheon this week where Senatorial candidates Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-NV, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI,†were the featured guests.†

Rep. Berkley told her personal and very compelling story. ìMy grandparents literally got off the boat in New York.” They came here seeking a better life†and always felt fortunate to live in the United States of America. When my father decided to move us to Las Vegas, ì… The first thing he did was join a†union.” My father worked and retired as a waiter at the Sands Hotel after 35 years. †He used to say he didn’t mind the guys who managed the hotel†being well paid. He just wanted to earn enough to have a home and provide for his family. And he did just that. He worked hard and he earned a fair†wage. He, along with my mother, raised two daughters. They put us through college and helped us with law school.†

“Today, my father wonders what happened to that America. Why have unions been demonized? Unions are there for us fighting for an honest dayís pay†for an honest dayís work. But now, the middle class has become so beaten down. That’s not what this country is about.”†

That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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