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Latest News - August 2013

August 12, 2013
US Airways mechanics vote to keep current union, reject Teamsters takeover attempt
Source: Tulsa World

US Airways workers cleared a potential hurdle to their company’s pending merger with American Airlines parent AMR Corp. when 4,600 mechanics and maintenance workers voted Monday to stay with their current union and rejected a takeover attempt by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The International Association of Machinists gained almost 58 percent of the US Airways workers’ votes in the election, held from July 8 to Sunday, while the Teamsters received 42 percent.

US Airways is poised to merge with AMR and create the nation’s biggest airline once American emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A confirmation hearing on AMR’s reorganization plan is scheduled for Thursday in New York federal court.

“This victory marks an important milestone for the Mechanic and Related group at US Airways,” said IAM Transportation Vice President Sito Pantoja.

“By voting for the Machinists Union, our members safeguarded their pensions and seniority heading into the merger with American Airlines while rejecting the empty promises of an organization with a history of corruption.”

IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham said the election result allows contract negotiations between the IAM and US Airways to resume without further delay.

The vote was the latest conflict in more than a year of labor unrest at the two airlines and could have complicated a joint bargaining agreement forged by the Transport Workers Union at American Airlines and the IAM at US Airways.

The two unions have agreed to share bargaining rights among maintenance workers when the two airlines merge later this year and create the world’s largest air carrier.



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