Tags: American | flight | attendants | airline

American Attendants Reject Contract in Defeat for Merged Airline

Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 12:53 PM

American Airlines Group Inc. flight attendants narrowly rejected a five-year contract, a labor defeat after last year’s merger creating the world’s largest carrier.

The proposed accord now moves to arbitration, after being rejected Sunday by members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The union, which represents 24,000 workers at American and merger partner US Airways Group, said the agreement was turned down by a vote of 8,196 to 8,180.

An approved contract would have boosted Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker’s efforts to integrate the two airlines since they combined in December. The agreement would have been the first at Fort Worth, Texas-based American to cover workers from both companies, helping the carrier boost efficiency by standardizing pay and work rules.

The rejection will cost each flight attendant almost $17,000 in pay and benefits for each year of the five-year accord under arbitration terms set by a prior agreement with American, based on a union estimate. Attendants would have become the best paid in the U.S. industry.

The union declined to immediately comment on the rejection.

Instead of resuming negotiations, the airline and union must take part in arbitration, where the value of annual contract improvements over existing agreements is capped at $111 million. That compares with $193 million in yearly increases under the rejected accord.

Pilots continue to hold contract talks with American, and negotiations haven’t begun with unions representing mechanics and airport ground workers and customer service and reservation agents.

The unions backed US Airways’ successful takeover of American after that carrier filed for bankruptcy in November 2011.

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American Airlines Group Inc. flight attendants narrowly rejected a five-year contract, a labor defeat after last year's merger creating the world's largest carrier.
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2014-53-09
Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 12:53 PM
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