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American’s flight attendants now join airline and pilots in merger discussions

Dec 21, 2012 4:22 am

Skift Take

Persistent labor challenges following US Airways’ merger with America West mean that labor groups at American are planning far in advance to prevent a repeat.

— Jason Clampet

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The Association of Professional Flight Attendants union, which represents workers at AMR Corp’s American Airlines, said on Thursday it had been invited to take part in confidential talks on a potential merger with US Airways Group.

The union said it signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that will permit its involvement in discussions with the two airlines and American’s unsecured creditors’ committee.

“This non-disclosure agreement gives us further opportunity to affect the potential merger as we engage in direct and confidential discussions with key stakeholders,” the flight attendants union said in a communications update.

“We know from previous major mergers that labor discussions like these were critical milestones,” the union added. A spokeswoman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants declined further comment.

American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 protection last year, and US Airways has been pursuing a merger with its larger rival for much of 2012.

Merger discussions among US Airways, AMR and its creditors are at an advanced stage, with a decision on whether to pursue a combination or emerge as an independent company expected as soon as January, people familiar with the matter have said.

Pilot unions at American and US Airways have also joined merger talks with AMR creditors and the companies.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s pilots, said this week those talks were aimed at addressing merger-related concerns of both pilot groups and reaching a memorandum of understanding that would serve as an interim agreement while a merger is undertaken. The talks are continuing, an APA spokesman said on Thursday.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Paul Tait. Copyright (2012) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

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