AA Reaches Another Deal with TWU

By Frank Heinz
|  Saturday, May 8, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM CDT
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AA Reaches Another Deal with TWU

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Though three deals have been reached with the TWU this week - there is much left to be done for AA.

American Airlines and the Transport Workers Union have reached a tentative agreement in principle covering the Maintenance Control Technician workgroup.

The unions had been seeking to replace concessions made during the 2003 restructuring that kept the airline out of bankruptcy.

AA has not revealed specifics of the deal, but did say the following in a statement released Wednesday afternoon:

“Similar to the other two tentative agreements reached earlier this week with the Mechanic & Related and Material Logistics Specialist workgroups, this tentative agreement provides our Maintenance Control Technicians with market-based compensation, including structural increases, and enhancements to other contract items such as vacation, holidays and sick leave. It also provides American with improved efficiency in the field work assignments this workgroup oversees," said Missy Latham, labor spokesperson for American Airlines.

Next, the contract will be sent to union members for ratification.  AA has about 50,000 employees represented by unions, though only 90 are impacted by this latest agreement.

Maintenance Control Technicians provide technical oversight for troubleshooting aircraft maintenance issues in the field, oversee the approval process for the Minimum Equipment List and serve as the maintenance point of contact for flight crews and Line Maintenance mechanics.

American has been in long-running contract talks with pilots, flight attendants and ground workers. Last month, Gerard Arpey, CEO of American parent AMR Corp. said his airline has "a pretty significant labor-cost disadvantage" compared to the other network carriers -- Delta, United, Continental and US Airways -- because it didn't cut labor costs through bankruptcy.

Arpey stopped short of saying American can reduce labor costs. But he predicted that his company's costs will come in line with other carriers over the term of the union contracts American is now negotiating, which will run for several years.

American's Maintenance Control Technician workgroup was previously known as the Technical Specialist workgroup.

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