US Airways sees 42 percent fewer ground-worker cuts in AMR merger
BY STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Friday, April 27, 2012
US Airways Group Inc., building labor support for a possible bid for American Airlines, envisions 42 percent fewer job cuts at the carrier’s largest union than the bankrupt AMR Corp. unit is proposing.
Under a US Airways agreement with the Transport Workers Union, a merger would eliminate the positions of about 4,900 mechanics, baggage handlers and other airport ground employees, the TWU said Friday in documents sent to members. AMR has said it needs about 8,500 cuts in that group.
US Airways would cut 450 jobs at American’s maintenance base in Tulsa and grant two-year furlough protection to the 4,500 workers who remain, according to the union documents.
AMR initially said it wants to cut 2,100 maintenance and related workers in Tulsa, plus possibly several hundred others. American has 7,000 total workers locally.
Airport ramp jobs that AMR proposed to outsource at 30 cities would be retained, and enhanced severance would be offered to as many as 1,500 TWU employees.
The TWU, which has 24,000 members at American, joined pilots and flight attendants unions last week in backing a US Airways takeover bid. Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR has said it prefers to leave Chapter 11 as a stand-alone carrier, and concluded initial arguments in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Friday to void its labor contracts and impose new terms.
“A possible merger still faces many hurdles unrelated to labor issues,” TWU said in the documents, which outlined Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways’ plan. “Any agreement with US Airways will not take effect until all such hurdles are overcome.”
American’s final contract offer to the TWU will be sent to union members for ratification next week. The union has continued talks with American even as it argued against rejection in court of existing contracts.
US Airways hasn’t made an offer for AMR, which filed for court protection on Nov. 29.
Most of the contract terms for the TWU weren’t disclosed last week when that union, the Allied Pilots Association and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants threw their support to US Airways.
The Tulsa World Business staff contributed to this story by Bloomberg News