US Airways secures cautious union deal

US Airways and
the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
District 141 have announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a
single contract for the airline’s fleet service employees.The tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by the airline’s
7,700 fleet service employees, would establish new wages and make other
improvements for the airline’s baggage handlers and ramp personnel.  The
airline and the union had been in negotiations for more than a year, and just
last week began discussions with the help of National Mediation Board (NMB)

  Ratification is expected to take three to four weeks. The new agreement
becomes effective within 30 days following ratification and extends through
the new amendable date, Dec. 31, 2011.

  “Today’s announcement moves us another step closer to a unified airline
and our goal of bringing our remaining groups to single labor agreements,”
said US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker.  “We applaud the efforts of the
IAM negotiators and especially thank NMB facilitators Linda Puchala and Dick
Hanusz for their guidance and oversight, which has helped us achieve this very
important milestone for the new US Airways.”

  Vice President, Labor Relations Al Hemenway added, “We are extremely
pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that recognizes the
contributions and efforts of our fleet service team. That we were able to
reach a tentative agreement after only one week of facilitated discussions is
testament to the efforts of the IAM negotiators, the US Airways team and the

  The company and IAM together requested facilitation on July 28, and talks
commenced on Aug. 1. In this voluntary process, the NMB assigns a Board
mediator who works with both parties in an advisory role, helping the parties
find common areas of agreement and reach solutions.


  The IAM also represents US Airways’ maintenance and related employees.
Facilitated negotiations with the IAM for a single agreement that would cover
maintenance workers are also underway.

  US Airways has reached prior unified agreements with the CWA/IBT, which
represents the airline’s reservations agents and passenger service employees;
and with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), representing flight dispatchers,
instructors and engineers.  Negotiations for single agreements continue with
the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Association of Flight
Attendants (AFA).