American airlines sues mechanics unions

Old May 28, 19, 5:56 am
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American airlines sues mechanics unions

Another poster's comment regarding the time it took to replace a seat cushion triggered my memory of something I had seen last week:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/america...egal-slowdown/

American Airlines is suing its union workers, accusing them of conducting an "illegal slowdown" in order to receive better concessions in ongoing contract talks. The airline is now asking a federal judge to step in with a preliminary injunction to end the alleged activity, which the union has called "unfounded."

Starting to feel like US Airways in about 2000 again....
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Old May 28, 19, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
American Airlines is suing its union workers, accusing them of conducting an "illegal slowdown" in order to receive better concessions in ongoing contract talks. The airline is now asking a federal judge to step in with a preliminary injunction to end the alleged activity, which the union has called "unfounded."
IF this is true (and that's a big if), never mind an injunction, -- any unions involved should be decertified.
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Old May 28, 19, 8:14 am
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This has been discussed lately in the Flight Delay/Cancellation/Diversion thread. USAToday article from 5/20 states the suit was filed 5/20:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...er/3746724002/

(eta: looks like the article is essentially the same as IADCYflyer's CBS reference)

Last edited by alien; May 28, 19 at 8:23 am
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Old May 28, 19, 9:56 am
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I think we’ve noticed this. Response to trouble calls for departing calls taking more time than usual, parts taking unusually long time to travel from warehouse to aircraft, once everything’s done “walking the log” so pilots are left waiting for the signed off log - which takes an inordinately long time to return to the aircraft.

IMO, part of this begins with no contract since long before the merger, and the bone of contention seems to be that AA plans to hold the line on outsourcing for current mech-tech employees but not promising to hold that line as employees agree to being bought out for early retirement or retiring otherwise.

And mechanics fro AA and US want a hybrid contract that brings the best practices (from their perspective) from each to a new contract together.

Mechanics at American Airlines don’t have a new joint contract yet after the merger. There are US Airways and American legacy work groups, and everyone wants the best of both contracts. That would be far more expensive than the airline is willing to pay – and more expensive than what competitors pay. - link to Gary Leff, 19 April 2028

On the other hand American:

does want to outsource more maintenance work going forward. Even if it won’t wind up costing any current union members jobs or hours, unions are loathe to agree to it out of fear it reduces their leverage in the future.
wants to move legacy US Airways workers over to a less generous health plan (like what American employees have had)
Over at over at employee forums and town halls, maintenance workers express their frustrations. They have felt the airline hasn’t “negotiated in good faith” by slow walking contract negotiations.

Anecdotally there are reports that some of American’s recent operational challenges stem from maintenance slow-walking addressing of issues with aircraft. Link to Gary Leff, 22 Sep 2018
Mediation might be the best way forward if compromise is to be reached and a cingract signed, if the airline is going to get its awful operations record in order.
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Last edited by JDiver; May 28, 19 at 10:13 am
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Old May 28, 19, 10:09 am
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Every time I read about union issues at AA I think of Doug Parker's comment that the airline will never loose money again. To me that is almost a challenge to the unions to see how much of that profit they can grab.
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Old May 28, 19, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
Every time I read about union issues at AA I think of Doug Parker's comment that the airline will never loose money again. To me that is almost a challenge to the unions to see how much of that profit they can grab.
If you look at the recent video of the TWU chief going after Isom, I think you will agree that the unions seem to see it exactly as you do.
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Old May 28, 19, 10:53 am
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Old May 28, 19, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
Every time I read about union issues at AA I think of Doug Parker's comment that the airline will never loose money again. To me that is almost a challenge to the unions to see how much of that profit they can grab.
I'd rather my fares and suffering in Oasis benefit the workers than Doug Parker.
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Old May 28, 19, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
I'd rather my fares and suffering in Oasis benefit the workers than Doug Parker.
I'm not sure I agree with that. People throw around "Doug Parker" when they mean something more generic, so sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what someone means in their post, but considering Doug Parker doesn't draw a salary I'm going to assume you mean all shareholders when you say Doug Parker since they're in the same boat.

In that case, I think both are important. I think it's important that AA's union members have industry-leading contracts, but not to the detriment of the company. They still need to be reasonably competitive. I'm more comfortable on sacrificing on frills vs. the competition if labor gets better compensation than the competition, but AA still needs to remain a competitive investment for shareholders at the same time. ALL the money can't go to labor, and the contracts have to work on the good days and the bad days -- which sometimes is hard to see during the good days. (Ask Ed Colodny about that.)
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Old May 28, 19, 4:59 pm
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BS like this is just one more item in the long list of reasons to bail on airline loyalty and go full on free agency. Let AA management and unions work out their issues on their time. Meanwhile, the smart flying public simply chooses an airline that has its act together. Loss of customers and revenue ultimately penalizes both parties involved.
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Old May 28, 19, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides View Post
BS like this is just one more item in the long list of reasons to bail on airline loyalty and go full on free agency. Let AA management and unions work out their issues on their time. Meanwhile, the smart flying public simply chooses an airline that has its act together. Loss of customers and revenue ultimately penalizes both parties involved.
I agree with you although I also wonder at what point Parker looses the support of the board and gets the axe. It seems like they have had a lot missteps.
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Old May 28, 19, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
I agree with you although I also wonder at what point Parker looses the support of the board and gets the axe.
Not soon enough.
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Old May 28, 19, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
I agree with you although I also wonder at what point Parker looses the support of the board and gets the axe. It seems like they have had a lot missteps.
Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
Not soon enough.
Can you name the last AA chairman or CEO that you liked at the time? Unions now sometimes cite Crandall as an example of what professional and competent management should be; but when he was in charge, they hated him.
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Old May 28, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Can you name the last AA chairman or CEO that you liked at the time? Unions now sometimes cite Crandall as an example of what professional and competent management should be; but when he was in charge, they hated him.
Also, the unions of AA are part of getting rid of Horton and signing up to the promises of Parker.

So, welcome to voting without thinking. #brexit
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Old May 28, 19, 8:14 pm
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Prior to 1992, Lorenzo was the only CEO villified in the media. Who remembers Albert Casey? (had the job for 10 years between CR Smith and Crandall).

Trick question.
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