Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Unions are not happy after hearing Fort Worth-based American Airlines' parent company AMR wants to go to a bankruptcy court judge next week, even though the move was expected.
Unions are not happy after hearing Fort Worth-based AMR wants to go to a bankruptcy court judge next week.
The company sent out notice on Thursday afternoon, telling the unions if consensual agreements are not reached in the next few days it would go to court next week.
At that point, it would ask the judge to dismiss the current collective bargaining agreements the unions are working under.
After that initial date, a hearing would be set as early as 14 days after, with a decision coming about 30 days after that hearing. In the end, it could mean AMR would impose its own working conditions for employees.
Negotiations between the unions and airline could continue during that process.
Industry experts point out, that historically, it’s after filing a Section 1113 motion has been filed that the company comes to an agreement with its unions.
“I think those working conditions include longer hours, a more difficult process to get the job done as a pilot, worse hours for sick pay,” said Howie Schack, with the Allied Pilots Association.
AMR said there has not been enough progress throughout union negotiations, meaning it has to move quicker in order to get out of bankruptcy faster.
Laura Glading, president of the Association for Professional Flight Attendants, told members, “Now, as management tries to map its way out of bankruptcy, they are resorting to the take it or leave it tactics which never result in real success but only resentment and turmoil. Apparently, in preparing its business plan, American has left out one of the elements most critical to a successful reorganization – treating its employees with decency and respect.”
James Little, president of the Transportation Workers Union International said, “We have always been prepared to fight for our members -- either by reaching an agreement or going to court. We are prepared for either eventuality. While we would prefer a consensual deal with AMR, our lawyers also are preparing to defend our members and their families before the judge.”