US Airways Ground Workers, Mechanics Approve New Contract With American

July 19--US Airways mechanics and ground workers have approved a three-year contract with American Airlines.

The contract, which covers 11,000 workers represented by the International Association of Machinists, includes furlough protection and raises in each year of the contract. The IAM said Saturday that all three contracts for mechanics and related fleet service and maintenance training specialist work groups were approved by a majority of the members, but did not release vote totals.

The union was the only labor group at US Airways and American that did not publicly support the merger of the two airlines, which was completed in December. The Machinists said US Airways executives had negotiated deals with American's labor groups while neglecting contract talks with their own employees.

American's chief executive Doug Parker said he was pleased to reach agreements with the union employees.

"These agreements will allow us to focus on the next steps for integrating our airlines, and we can now start the process of bringing these employee groups together with their co-workers form American through joint collective bargaining agreements," Parker said.

For fleet service workers, the tentative agreement also includes a signing bonus of $1,500. The mechanics' contract includes 3 percent raises in each year of the contract and a merger seniority integration agreement.

The Transport Workers Union represents mechanics and ground workers from the pre-merger American. The Machinists and the TWU have previously agreed to jointly represent the workers after the merger. American has said it could take a couple of years to fully integrate the two airlines together.

If a new joint contract is not in place when the three-year agreement with the Machinists expires, workers will get additional raises.

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk

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