AA Labor Talks End With No Deal

By Scott Gordon
|  Saturday, May 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:32 AM CDT
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AA Labor Talks End With No Deal

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Negotiations on a new contract between American Airlines and its flight attendants broke off late Friday night with no deal and no more negotiations planned.

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Negotiations on a new contract between American Airlines and its flight attendants broke off late Friday night with no deal and no more negotiations planned.

The talks, overseen by a federal mediator in Washington, were set to wrap up at 5 p.m. ET but continued until nearly 11 p.m.

“Unfortunately after more than two years of negotiations we have reached an impasse in negotiations," Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said in a statement. "This is completely unacceptable."

The Fort Worth-based airline said it was waiting for the next step from the federal mediator.

"The company presented a comprehensive proposal that significantly moved toward APFA in several areas," American Airlines spokeswoman Missy Latham said in a prepared statement.

The airline said its latest offer included a signing bonus equal to 3 percent of a flight attendant's yearly salary and a 9.5 percent pay raise over four years.

Union leaders said the company's offer also included increased work hours and reduced health care coverage that made it unacceptable.

On Wednesday, flight attendants overwhelmingly gave union leaders the right to call a strike. But before that could happen, the mediator would have to declare an impasse in negotiations and start a 30-day, “cooling-off” period.

The next step will likely be up to federal mediators, who can schedule more talks or grant the union's request for an impasse.

Flight attendants are seeking to recoup some of the 33 percent pay cuts they accepted in 2003 when the airline was on the verge of bankruptcy. The airline has said its employees are among the best paid in the industry and that it spends $600 million more than its competitors in labor costs.

NBC DFW's Scott Gordon is reporting from Washington, D.C.

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