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American’s new CEO Doug Parker learned the hard way with his last merger that separate contracts make nobody happy, and he’s used that knowledge to make smart labor decisions during the courting and merger process of the two airlines.
Unions for flight attendants at American Airlines and US Airways say they have a deal with company management that could result in both groups of workers being governed by a single labor contract by early 2015.
Under the agreement, US Airways employees will begin voting in the next 10 days whether to become members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, or APFA, which represents cabin crew members at American.
If the US Airways employees approve the move, negotiations with management on a combined contract would follow on an “expedited timeline,” with a new contract within a year, the APFA said Monday.
The US Airways workers are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants and are greatly outnumbered by APFA members at American. The two airlines merged last month to form American Airlines Group Inc., although they will operate separately for up to two years before the US Airways name is scrapped.