Now that the leadership of American Airlines’ pilots union has rejected the carrier’s “last, best and final offer” – buzz about a possible merger deal with AA competitor US Airways is getting louder than ever.
Pilots Reject AA’s Latest Contract
The pilots’ representatives said they were close to an agreement but cited a lack of specifics in American’s proposed plans for pilot scheduling. It could all be moot Friday, when a New York bankruptcy judge rules on whether or not to throw out all of American’s contracts with its unionized employees – a ruling pilots are hoping to delay. UPDATE 6-22-12: The ruling has been delayed until June 29.
Merger – Best Chance for American Recovery?
In the meantime, leaders of that union and other labor groups representing American workers told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week that they support a US Airways take-over of their airline because they believe the resulting merged carrier would offer a much better chance to compete against larger rivals United and Delta, both of which expanded in recent years after their own mergers (with Continental and Northwest respectively). The paper quoted Jim Little, president of the Transport Worker Union which represents American’s mechanics as saying, “It can’t be business as usual,” adding, “If we don’t seek this opportunity now, I don’t think American will recover.”
American Job Cuts Continue
American announced it would begin bankruptcy proceedings late last year. In January it announced it would cut 13,000 jobs – earlier this month targeted more than 1,000 management positions for layoffs.