TWU, AA, US Airways reach tentative pact

Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Union mechanics and ground workers would get a 4.3 percent wage hike if American and US Airways merge under a deal company and union officials announced Monday.

The pay increase and resolutions to other transition issues are part of a tentative memorandum of understanding negotiated over the past month, the Tulsa (Okla.) World reported.

The wage hike would kick in for 21,000 union members immediately if American Airlines, which is in bankruptcy, and US Airways come to a merger agreement and that merger is approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court. The increase would be in addition to previously negotiated contract agreements, officials said.

"Our members have made incredible sacrifices to keep American Airlines afloat," TWU International President James Little said of the deal. "If there is a merger, their critical role must be recognized. This agreement is a step in that direction."

American spokeswoman Missy Cousino said the airline's management was "pleased" by the tentative agreement, the World said.

"The MOU was reached to give the parties greater clarity on both the costs and integration processes associated with a potential merger with US Airways," she said.

US Airways spokesman Ed Stewart said the agreement shows the union "shares the vision for a stronger American Airlines."

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