April 20 - American Airlines unions are backing a merger with US Airways ahead of next week’s bankruptcy court hearing, which could cancel labor contracts. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL The three major unions at American Airlines say they want the bankrupt air carrier to sit down for merger talks with US Airways. In a move to add pressure: pilots, flight attendants and ground workers say they have already reached a tentative labor agreement with US Air. The unions say the merger would save at least 6,200 jobs that would otherwise be lost if American Airlines flies alone with a restructuring. As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, American plans to cut 13,000 union jobs, resulting in $1.25 billion in annual labor cost savings. A spokesperson for AMR, the parent of the No. 3 U.S. air carrier, declined comment on the joint union statement. But the two sides are headed to bankruptcy court next week as American tries to get labor contracts thrown out. AMR has tried to dampen expectations of any merger since filing for bankruptcy late last year. A spokeswoman for U.S. Airways did not respond for comment. Conway Gittens, Reuters