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Tue, Apr 24, 2012

AFA: US Airways FAs Need Contract Before Merger Talks

American Eagle FAs Also Still Hammering Out A Deal

The talk of a merger between AMR Corp and US Airways late last week prompted a statement from the Association of Flight Attendants concerning contract negotiations at US Airways.

"A contract for Flight Attendants at US Airways must be completed prior to any new merger deal," said Deborah Volpe, AFA president of pre-merger America West Flight Attendants, and Mark Gentile, AFA president of pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants. "We appreciate innovative efforts for an airline business model that supports jobs with good wages, work rules, benefits, and a secure retirement.  In that spirit, any new deal must first acknowledge the contributions of US Airways Flight Attendants through a single contract with job security and improvements promised to Flight Attendants involved in the last merger initiated by US Airways management.  Seven years later that deal still isn't done.  There is a small window of opportunity for US Airways management to get this right."

Meanwhile, Robert Barrow, president of the Association of Flight Attendants at American Eagle, said the union was focused on job security rather than the prospective merger in their ongoing negotiations.

"We continue to negotiate with American Eagle management to reach an agreement rather than a court imposed settlement," he said. "We welcome innovative solutions that would fully recognize the contributions of American Eagle Flight Attendants, much like the divestiture that was planned prior to the bankruptcy.  Not long ago, that plan promised job security and greater opportunity for the dedicated workers at American Eagle.

"We are paying close attention to any potential merger. AFA is committed to protecting American Eagle Flight Attendants, ensuring the success of our airline, and working swiftly through this process. The potential merger announcement does not change AFA's continued work to vigorously oppose unnecessary concessions. We will ensure Flight Attendants play an integral role in the reshaping and rebuilding of American Eagle.

"American Eagle Flight Attendants have contributed to a profitable airline.  It is only due to a poor business plan executed by the management of our parent company that American Eagle Flight Attendants are facing the onerous process of Chapter 11.  It is a travesty that American management is seeking to abrogate the contracts of mainline American Airlines workers, which led to support from those workers' unions for an unsolicited bid from US Airways to buy American.  Management has an opportunity to reach an agreement with a different outcome at American Eagle.

"AFA experts are fully engaged in protecting our rights in this bankruptcy and in any potential merger or divestiture.  As members of AFA, American Eagle Flight Attendants remain proud of the contributions we make daily to the airline. Along with our fellow front-line workers, we will continue our work as safety professionals and stand together to push back against any efforts to minimize our contributions."

FMI: www.afacwa.org

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