(NYSE: LCC) US Airways and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 141 today announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a single contract for the airline’s fleet service employees.
TEMPE, Ariz — 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) facilitators.
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 NMB.“
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).
US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airline employing more than 36,000 aviation professionals worldwide. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operate approximately 3,700 flights per day and serve more than 230 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The new US Airways — the product of a merger between America West and US Airways in September 2005 — is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers our customers 16,000 daily flights to 855 destinations in 155 countries worldwide. This press release and additional information on US Airways can be found at http://www.usairways.com.