An announcement is expected to come soon about the likely merger between US Airways and American Airlines. If the two airlines decide to merge, what does that mean for US Airways mechanics and related?
The most important thing to understand is that, in the short term, it won’t change anything for us and our drive to get Teamster cards signed. At least for now, our mission remains the same: we need everyone to sign a Teamster card so we can file for an election, vote the IAM out, and become Teamsters!
Here’s what we can expect when a merger is announced:
At some point after the announcement, the Company will issue a plan for integrating the two airlines.
Labor relations during this integration process will remain separate for the two carriers. That means we’ll remain covered by our current contract. It also means that our effort to collect cards and petition for an election to vote in the Teamsters will continue to move forward.
On the other side, a large group of mechanics at American Airlines – who are represented by the TWU – are also collecting Teamster cards and are hoping to file for an election soon.
When certain portions of the operations have been integrated among both companies, the union representative from one of the carriers can petition for “single-carrier status” for labor relations in a particular class and craft. The National Mediation Board will decide if operations are sufficiently integrated and make a determination on single-carrier status. After that happens, labor relations at the two carriers are integrated, meaning a single contract must be negotiated for both airlines and seniority rosters must be integrated.
Our goal is to vote in the Teamsters before the integration process is completed and then we immediately move to negotiate a new contract with US Airways. Later, when single-carrier status is determined, we will negotiate a combined US Air-AA contract. This is the best scenario for mechanics and related – it will give us an opportunity to make improvements with the leverage of a larger, stronger bargaining unit of mechanics. With the powerful backing and resources of the Teamsters, largest union in the airline industry, US Air mechanics can restore the dignity of our profession at US Airways.
So the bottom line is that our drive to become Teamsters at US Air remains unchanged by the announcement of a merger. If you haven’t signed a Teamster authorization card yet, we urge you to do so NOW! The majority of our brothers and sisters in many stations have already signed Teamster cards, so we are closer than ever to moving to an election.
It’s time for a FRESH START with the TEAMSTERS!
For more information, visit the US Airways Fresh Start campaign website or call the campaign hotline at 1-800-786-9627.