As previously announced, the TWU-IAM Association reached Agreements in Principle (AIP) last week with American Airlines on five new Joint Collective Bargaining Agreements (JCBAs). The five-year accords run through 2025.
This week, Association negotiating committee members met with company representatives in Fort Lauderdale, FL to begin finalizing contract language to bring our Agreements in Principle back to you as complete Tentative Agreements for your consideration. This time-consuming work is necessary for accurate full text documents to be presented to the membership before ratification voting begins. We expect this process to take a few weeks.
The parties this week finalized the proposed base wage scales and associated premiums going forward, and those rates for each group accompanies this update.
We ask for your continued patience as we continue the work to bring you complete details on the premier collective bargaining agreements in the industry.
After more than four years of bargaining, the TWU-IAM Association is proud to announce we have reached Agreements in Principle with American Airlines for five new joint collective bargaining agreements (JCBAs) worth $4.2 billion, covering more than 30,000 Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service, Maintenance Control, MLS/Stores and Maintenance Training Specialist members.
The Association negotiating committees must finalize and proof contract language on agreed upon provisions of the tentative contracts, and the parties will continue to meet to accomplish that task. This process could take a few weeks. Preliminary highlight sheets are attached to this bulletin, but the final, complete contract language will be available to all members. In addition to being posted on union websites, the complete agreement will be mailed to each member’s home before voting begins.
After the final language is finalized, membership ratification details and voting information will be announced.
When negotiations began, the Association negotiating committees were faced with the tremendous challenge of combining dissimilar, mature contracts negotiated by different unions with different airlines into JCBAs for the new American Airlines. From the outset, we had a decision to make: get a quick agreement, or get the right agreement for Association members, regardless of how difficult, lengthy and contentious that process would be. As you review the complete terms of the contracts, you will see that we chose the correct path.
Your negotiating committees recommend ratification of these agreements.
These Agreements in Principle will provide all Association members with wages, benefits, work rules, job security and retirement income that had never before been accomplished. Total compensation (wages, premiums, retirement, and profit sharing) is the richest in the industry. Not only are all Association members’ jobs protected in their locations, but more importantly, we were able to protect the work we do. The considerable benefits to all members will be immediately apparent.
Nothing in these Agreements in Principle would have been possible without the support, solidarity and patience of the membership. We ask for your continued patience as we complete and proof every word so you can be presented with all the information you need to make an informed decision when you vote on ratification.
Negotiations between the Association and American Airlines resumed today in Washington, DC. with some progress made. The remaining outstanding issues are few, but are some of the most important elements of a collective bargaining agreement, including wages and job scope language.
The parties will continue negotiations tomorrow, and the membership will be updated as developments occur. Your solidarity has brought us close to an agreement, and your committee thanks you as we try to conclude these negotiations.
Talks continue by phone between the Association Leadership and American Airlines in reaching a JCBA. As such, we wanted to update the membership and dispel a false narrative, speculation and rumors some may be spreading.
We are set to meet again with the NMB on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 10:00AM through the close of business on Friday, January 31, 2020. We are hopeful these dates with the NMB will not be necessary, however, if needed they will be utilized.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Over the past several weeks, the Association, the NMB and American Airlines have been working to reach the tentative agreement our members have been promised and rightfully deserve. As most of you know, we also agreed to limit communications in a manner that would not create more rumor or inuendo from either side.
Management Negotiators are frequently absent from these negotiations which was the primary reason for not continuing face-to-face negotiations this week. We also had requested that the NMB allow us to negotiate the week of Thanksgiving, but the Company Negotiators passed on that opportunity as well. We have yet to see Robert Isom or Doug Parker, who we believe are calling the shots from Texas, engage in any negotiating session since the day negotiations started.
With that said, we felt it was imperative at this point to provide a fact-based update to our members about some of the key items that remain open. Below represents a few of the outrageous items Management Negotiators have not provided acceptable solutions to. Please keep in mind that while you may not see an issue listed, others are open, and we cannot agree to a Tentative Agreement until they are all resolved.
Compensation: Management negotiators have walked backwards from their previous public statements and are now only offering the Pay of Delta or Southwest, and with managements 2% out year raises, our members will fall behind in pay once again. This is something CEO Parker has stated would not happen.
Retro Pay: Company Negotiators have flat out insulted our members with their demand for a zero retro payout and have offered a “bonus” that will not cover the missing payday loan they are asking of nearly three quarters of the Association Membership. Remember, retro is a one-time payment to our members for the labor we provide that earns billions of dollars for this company. Our retro pay is no different than management’s stock buy backs of 3.8 billion in 2015, $4.5 billion in 2016, $1.4 billion in 2017 and $2 billion in 2018, except it is in the millions – NOT BILLIONS!
Payroll System: Management is also demanding our members who aren’t paid two weeks in arrears agree to a self-funded Company payday loan demand, so they can switch payroll systems. Obviously, we are fighting this demand since they must pay members weekly by law in some locations. We know the system will accommodate the way our members are currently paid, it just takes more effort on Management’s part to do. Management Negotiators have not offered any other solution to their payroll problem, other than demand our members accept the change to two weeks’ pay in arrears. Just this past week, they made another insulting attempt to convince us the switch was not as bad as we say. Later, Management finally admitted they are demanding TWU members, who are paid biweekly, would be funding an 80 hour payday loan to themselves in order for American to make the payroll change.
Scope Protection: We also remain apart on Scope Protection for our members. Management Negotiators continue to make demands that we accept their proposal that we do significantly less work in the future than we do today. These open items are Scope provisions that we currently have, and are fighting to protect, not additional items.
Vacation: Finally, we are so significantly apart on Vacation that every member should be disgusted with how American views us compared to Management. Their proposal insults all of us by demanding a 5th week of vacation at 25 years and a 6th week of vacation at 30 years, even though management enjoys a 5th week of vacation at 17 years “right now.” Our members have earned the 6th week of vacation at 25 years through the sacrifices made in the work we do.
We are in ongoing discussions with the NMB to solidify additional days and continue negotiations in person or by phone. We remain willing to meet anytime and anywhere, for as long as it is necessary, to achieve the long overdue JCBA our members deserve.
The Association leadership has pursued continuing negotiations on American Airlines with or without the presence of the National Mediation Board (NMB) with some limited success. After our last negotiating session closed November 15, we asked the Company to agree to meet this week. They declined.
The National Mediation Board has announced scheduled mediation dates for the first two weeks of December. We will meet with NMB members December 4th and 6th next week and December 9ththrough 12th the following week.
Our intention will be, as it always has been, to bring the best in industry contract to our membership. We are fully prepared to reach conclusion to these negotiations if the Company is ready and willing to step up to the plate and get it done.
The Association’s Executive Negotiating Committee met this week in Washington, D.C. with members of the National Mediation Board and representatives from the carrier.
Limited progress was made this week, and that is encouraging. After the carrier wasted the entire summer refusing to negotiate with the Association, any movement is a positive sign.
Our goal is not simply to reach an agreement with the company. Our goal is to reach the right agreement for Association members. We need to ensure any agreement provides the wages, benefits and terms that you have earned and deserve. That is why your continued patience and solidarity is so important.
Future negotiation dates are currently being discussed with American and the NMB.
Negotiations continued in Washington, D.C. this week, with little movement from the company being made towards completed tentative agreements. In light of the unfortunate lack of progress, the Executive Committee is considering next steps and an appropriate response.
Since the resumption of mediated negotiations between the Association and American Airlines on September 16, the parties have met multiple days over five weekly sessions. Although progress has been slow, it has been positive and productive. The talks have moved into more serious and in-depth discussions regarding Scope, Insurance and Retirement.
Since resolution to most of the remaining open items rely on reaching an agreement in total, no specific tentative agreements have been signed-off or agreed to. However, we can report on the subjects we have discussed.
In Mechanic and Related Scope, the parties have narrowed their positions on Heavy Maintenance issues, international outsourcing and protected cities in the US. The parties have narrowed all aspects of GSE including scope and named protected cities. We remain apart on Facilities scope. MLS/Stores scope was discussed this week and we have moved closer to agreement.
The parties’ positions have narrowed on Fleet Service Scope specific to the number of cities and flight thresholds in those cities.
Meaningful discussions on all facets of insurance took place this week: Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Life Insurance, Accidental Death Insurance, Long Term Disability Insurance and Retiree Medical/Sick Time buy out.
Discussions for retirement focused on the design and value of defined-benefit and defined-contribution retirement plans.
By mutual agreement, the parties continue to agree not to release in-depth details of these on-going discussions. At this critical phase of negotiations, this practice keeps the progress of these discussions moving forward.
When we get to the point of an agreement in principal more details will be released. The Executive and full Negotiating Committees appreciate the Memberships’ patience and support through the negotiation process.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume next week in Washington, D.C.