Washington, DC – The Transport Workers Union has taken legal action in federal court to protect the jobs, pay and benefits of its members, TWU President Harry Lombardo said today.
The TWU, Lombardo said, is seeking intervenor status in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against the proposed merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The case will go forward despite the current government shutdown, under terms of an order issued on Oct. 1 by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
“We represent workers at both airlines, and the livelihood of our members is at stake” said Lombardo. “That’s why we filed for intervenor status.”
More than 23,000 TWU members work at American Airlinesand American Eagle in seven crafts and/or classes, including: Mechanics and Related, Fleet Service, Materials Logistics Specialists, Dispatchers, Ground School and Simulator Pilot Instructors, Maintenance Control Technicians and Flight Simulator Technicians.
Three hundred employees of US Airways are also TWU members in the Flight Dispatch, Flight Crew Training Instructor and Flight Simulator Technician crafts and/or classes.
“TWU members have been involved with intense negotiations with current management at American Airlines and at US Airways,” said Lombardo. “We don’t see any reason for the Department of Justice to be involved in the merger process – but if this case is going to court, our members deserve to be heard.”
As a result of negotiations with airline management during the bankruptcy of American Airlines and talks leading up to a merger agreement with US Airways, TWU members at the new American Airlines will receive a four percent pay raise if the merger is successfully completed, as well as a 4.8 percent equity stake in the new company.
The TWU filed for intervenor status in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sept. 30th. On Oct. 1, Judge Kollar-Kotelly denied a request by DOJ attorneys for a stay of the proceedings due to the current government shutdown. Employees of American Airlines and U.S. Airways, the judge noted, “have a vested interest in adjudication of this case without delay.”