May 14 Two unions that represent ground workers
at American Airlines and US Airways Group said on
Tuesday they would combine to become the bargaining agent for
nearly 30,000 employees after the airlines merge.
The move comes as the International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, a third union, seeks to represent mechanics at US
The Transport Workers Union of America and the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said they
reached agreements this week to represent mechanics, fleet and
Stores workers at the new American Airlines.
The unions said the partnership, which will be called the
TWU/IAM Employee Association, will file with U.S. mediators to
hold elections for ground workers once the merger is completed.
Should the partnership be certified as the agent for workers at
the combined airline, negotiating groups from each union will
work on labor contracts.
The TWU currently represents ground workers at American,
while the machinists represent the employees at US Airways.
Last week, the Teamsters filed an application with the
National Mediation Board seeking elections to represent US
Airways mechanics. At the same time, the Teamsters union also
said it intended to file to represent ground workers at
American, a unit of AMR Corp.
The TWU and machinists unions assailed the Teamsters filing
last week. Garry Drummond, the air transport division director
at the TWU, said in a statement that the Teamsters were trying
to "steal members from other unions."
The merger of American and US Airways is expected to close
in the third quarter, subject to approvals.