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Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
Three American Airlines unions reach agreements should the airline merge with US Airways, although American says it remains focused on its plan to emerge from bankruptcy on its own.
The TWU, APFA, and the APA said Friday that they have reached agreements on term sheets for collective bargaining agreements that would govern the employees of American Airlines should the airline merge with US Airways.
The unions said earlier in the week that they planned to support a takeover offer by the rival airline and that a merger gives American Airlines the best chance at returning to prominence.
“This significant step represents our shared recognition that a merger between American Airlines and US Airways is the best strategy and fastest option to complete the restructuring of American Airlines, enabling it to exit the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and restore American Airlines to a preeminent position in the airline industry," the unions said in a statement. Read the full statement from the unions here.
US Airways followed the unions' statement with their own, saying they have filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing signed agreements with the AA unions in favor of the merger. Read US Airways full statement here.
The agreement does not mean the airlines have agreed to a merger, just that US Airways and the AA unions have agreed on what the collective bargaining agreements would look like should a merger take place.
A spokesman for American said Friday that the company is focused on its own plan to reorganize under bankruptcy protection.
"We believe statements of non-binding support from union leaders for alternative proposals are no coincidence given the timing of the 1113 process. These statements do not in any way alter the company’s commitment to pursue our business plan or our focus on moving steadily through the court supervised restructuring process to create a profitable, growing industry leader," the airline said in a statement.
On Monday in New York, AMR is scheduled to begin presenting its 1113c case for throwing out union contracts and imposing new pay, benefits and work rules. A federal bankruptcy judge is expected to rule on the request in early June.
To date, US Airways has made no proposal on the merger public.
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.
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