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Fri, Feb 15, 2013

Unions Representing 60,000 Airline Employees Support AA, US Airways Merger

Agree That Combined Airline Will Provide A Path For Competitive Compensation And Benefits

Leaders from five major unions representing more than 60,000 American Airlines and US Airways employees voiced their strong support for the merger of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, announced Thursday.

Keith Wilson, President of the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines said the merger sets the right path forward for American Airlines and its employees. "This combination paves the way for a new, more competitive American Airlines and a brighter future for the dedicated employees of the combined company," he said. "We recognized the value of merging at the very beginning, and worked for the past year to help bring this deal to fruition. Employees of the new American Airlines will enjoy competitive compensation and benefits, and will be part of a stronger airline which will create greater opportunities over the long term.”

Captain Gary Hummel, President, USAPA, said the merger came about due to the cooperative efforts of both management and labor. "As pilots, we are proud to be a part of the New American Airlines and look forward to working with our colleagues at the Allied Pilots Association, building our new company into a financially strong, premier global carrier."

But ALPA said in a statement that it would be watching the progress of the merger closely. "As the largest pilot union in the world, ALPA is deeply invested in the future of the aviation industry and the piloting profession. The landscape has changed considerably in recent years as airlines look to consolidation and other types of transactions to maximize their assets for the benefit of shareholders, passengers, and employees.

“ALPA will be watching this merger carefully because we represent pilots who fly more than 75 percent of express flying within the US Airways and American networks. We will work to ensure that our members are not negatively impacted during the merger process or by any subsequent agreements. And, in fact, they should benefit, as other stakeholders, in such a consolidation.

“Involving all employees, including those in the wholly-owned express subsidiaries, is essential to a smooth and effective integration process. We encourage all parties affected by this merger to collaborate in building a strong carrier that will continue to move this industry and our profession forward.”

Laura Glading, APFA President said the long road to a merger agreement has been worth it. "(The) announcement proves that everyone benefits when labor has a seat at the table," she said. "The new American will provide job security and fair compensation for all employees and another great option for the flying public. Flight attendants are eager to help build a strong and competitive airline and restore American’s prominence.”

"Flight Attendants are ready to participate in the benefits that will be generated by the strong network combination of American Airlines and US Airways," said Deborah Volpe and Roger Holmin, Presidents of the Association of Flight Attendants - CWA at US Airways. "We are proud to be a part of the frontline that makes our airline a success and we look forward to the new opportunities we will generate by working alongside our counterparts at American."

But in a separate statement, the AFA-CWA said "For this merger to be productive, it is imperative that it not only work for all flight attendants, but for all employees at both carriers. The new American will provide one of the world's strongest networks – and that includes the work of all flight attendants in that network. No one can be left behind – we know that together, American Airlines will be stronger."

James C. Little, International President, TWU, said the union's members have made major sacrifices over the past year. "We are pleased that today (Thursday) American Airlines and US Airways have reached a positive step toward building a stronger, more secure and more competitive airline. This should benefit both travelers and workers. Much more work needs to take place before all of the parts that will make up a New American Airlines are assembled, but the airline we're building should be better than the old American and US Airways.”

FMI: www.alliedpilots.org, http://usairlinepilots.org, www.afanet.org, www.apfa.org, www.twu.org, www.alpa.org

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