Two American Airlines ground crew workers stand under an airplane at Sky Harbor International Airport on April 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
The president of the AFL-CIO is concerned that the merger of American Airlines and US Airways will trigger a costly fight between two unions over ground workers.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the two unions should call a truce and share representation of the airline employees.
Ground workers at Fort Worth-based American are represented by the Transport Workers Union. Those at US Airways are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Both unions belong to the AFL-CIO.
Over the weekend the unions disclosed that they reached an agreement on merger-related seniority. Seniority affects pay and work assignments -- and, sometimes, who gets laid off -- after airlines combine workforces.