IAM, TWU Agree to Join at Combined US Airways, American

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- The International Association of Machinists and the Transport Workers Union said they have agreed to jointly represent about 30,000 workers after the planned merger of US Airways and American .

The two unions would represent mechanic and related workers, fleet service workers and stores workers in a partnership to be known as the TWU/IAM Employee Association. They have asked the National Mediation Board to conduct elections among the combined employees for each group following the close of the merger, which is expected this year.

"I am proud that our two great unions put the members first in a true demonstration of solidarity," said Tom Buffenbarger, IAM international president, in a prepared statement. "These agreements protect our members' representation, pensions and seniority. Working jointly with the TWU, we will ensure both unions' members are rewarded in this merger."

TWU International President James Little said in a prepared statement: "Both unions have decades of experience representing workers at US Airways and American Airlines and both unions are members of the AFL-CIO."

Following certification, negotiating committees made up of an equal number of representatives from each union would begin to work out details of collective bargaining agreements to cover the combined carriers' employees. Each union would enforce a post-merger agreement in specific cities.

Currently, the IAM represents mechanic and related, fleet service and stores employees at US Airways, while TWU represents the same groups at American. The Teamsters union has filed with the NMB for a union election to determine whether it would represent US Airways mechanics and has said it will also seek an election among American mechanics. If the Teamsters were to win an election at either or both airlines, then mechanics in that group would not be part of the IAM/TWU Employee Association.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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