American Airlines unions argue in court to save contracts, jobs

American Airlines unions argue in court to save contracts, jobs

Credit: JASON WHITELY / WFAA

@AmericanAir pilots arriving at NYC bankruptcy court where arguments to save contracts, job begin in 25-mins.

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Updated Monday, May 14 at 10:05 AM

NEW YORK – Attorneys for the Allied Pilots Association and Association of Professional Flight Attendants are arguing against American Airlines’ attempt to cancel their contracts, slash benefits and eliminate jobs.

Among other things, the unions will tell the judge that American’s future lies in a merger with US Airways.

Attorneys for the labor unions are expected to call as many as 13 witnesses in the next week including pilots, financial analysts, negotiators and others to make their case.

Next week, both sides will get rebuttals and closing arguments are expected to end by Friday, May 25.

Members of the Transport Workers Union, including American’s ground workers and mechanics, are currently voting on the company’s "last and best offer." The airline’s revised offer saves 3,100 jobs.

Results of the vote are expected to be announced in court on Tuesday. If the TWU membership approves the company’s offer, it will withdraw its legal case leaving pilots and flight attendants arguing against canceling their contracts.

Pilots said American Airlines is asking for concessions far beyond competitive levels, according to court filings. The airline wants to achieve unprecedented profits on the backs of employees, unions will argue.

Last month, the airline presented its case arguing it has cut costs, reduced management by 15% and is operating more efficiently. But in order to exit bankruptcy and return to sustained profitability, American said it needs to cut $1.25-billion annually from labor unions.

The airline is proposing 10,000 union job cuts. American has already announced it will eliminate 1,200 non-union jobs.
 

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