As was stated in the Bankruptcy update posted earlier in the week, we engaged in negotiations with the company with respect to the Mechanic and Related and Stores agreements on June 11 and 12th in New York. These discussions were mediated by federal Judge Peck who requested that the substance of the negotiations be maintained as confidential. This request was made and honored by all three AA unions (APA, APFA, and TWU), each of which participated in the bankruptcy court voluntary mediated bargaining.
Both the company and the APA have announced that as a result of court mediation, the company made a “Last Best Offer” (LBO) to the APA. The APA has not determined whether it will send the LBO out to its members for a ratification vote. We also do not know the substance of the LBO,and will not know until the APA makes a decision on whether the offer will be sent out to its membership for ratification.
In the meantime, if the APA was successful in reducing the company’s demands for relief, those five TWU groups which ratified agreements are entitled under their contracts' "me too " clauses to receive the same financial relief the company provides to the APA pilots ( I.e. the same aggregate proportionate lowering of the ask). That is why TWU negotiated such clauses.
The TWU has also indicated to the company that if the Mechanic and Related and/or Stores groups were to reach a consensual deal, such an agreement must include a "Me Too” clause so that each of these work groups, (like the five other TWU groups that have already ratified their agreements) would be offered the same proportionate relief provided to the pilots or any other work group.
There is no timetable as to when negotiations with M&R and Stores would resume. We await word on the outcome of the pilot internal meetings early this week as their deliberations are driving the situation. However, we continue to stand ready to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement at any time.
We have received many questions about whether negotiations will continue in the event our two contracts are abrogated on or after June 22, and the company imposes its “ask” on those groups without a consensual agreement. The TWU has consistently stated that imposed pay and conditions are not a contract and our two non ratified agreements would then be open for negotiations under the RLA, even if the company’s motion to abrogate is granted. It should be noted that in the event of a contract rejection, this issue, as well as related issues, will in all likelihood be subject to litigation.
While unions fare poorly in bankruptcy court, we strongly believe that the TWU presented an effective and persuasive case. We expect the judge to carefully consider our very valid arguments and analyses. We have posted the transcript and relevant exhibits and Affidavits on our website for your review.
As events unfold we will continue to keep our members updated.