Sat, Mar 24, 2012
Lead Lawyer Says He Does Not Expect A Compromise To Be Reached
Lawyers handling American Airlines' bankruptcy case say the airline may soon ask a judge to throw out its union contracts if the carrier and its labor organizations are unable to reach cost-cutting deals.
Harvey Miller, the lead lawyer for the airline, told the Associated Press that both side have bargained in good faith, but that he is not expecting an acceptable compromise. Union leaders disagreed with the assessment that the airline had bargained in good faith, and said that management had planned to scrap the union agreements all along.
Miller said that with no significant progress made in seven weeks of negotiations, a compromise acceptable to both parties was unlikely. He said while the airline is willing to stay at the table, it may be left with no choice but to ask a judge to vacate the agreements.
Allied Pilots Association spokesman said that the airline had taken a "take it or leave it" attitude from the beginning, and now was trying to get a judge to "do their dirty work."
American's Senior Vice President of personnel Jeffrey Brundage sent a letter to employees Thursday saying that the carrier had "shown flexibility" in the negotiations, citing its willingness to drop a proposal to terminate pension plans. He said there was still time for labor unions to agree to concessions, but that delays could cost thousands of jobs.
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