American Eagle unions balk at giving up flights to Republic Airways

Skift Take

American Eagle’s unions are asking the bankruptcy court to block AMR Corp.’s deal with Republic Airways, which also operates regional flights for US Airways. These latest moves by the unions underscore how complex the path with labor will be for American Airlines should its merger with US Airways become a fait accompli.

— Dennis Schaal

American Eagle’s unions are asking a bankruptcy court to delay or deny AMR Corp.’s new contract with Republic Airways that allows Republic to fly regional flights for American starting this summer.

In several court filings Thursday, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union argued that the 12-year deal with Republic will cost Eagle employees their jobs.

“Instead of re-gauging its fleet in line with the best interests of its employee groups, including TWU, American seeks to outsource work that could and should be done by American Eagle and its employees,” said the TWU, which represents mechanics and ground workers.

The unions also said the deal should be postponed while AMR considers a possible merger with US Airways.

“The motion is being pursued without apparent consideration of the impact of either a merger with US Airways or American emerging as a stand-alone entity,” the pilots union said. “The lack of any stated consideration of those alternatives on the proposed Republic transaction is astounding.”

In January, AMR announced it had signed a 12-year contract with Republic that would give American access to 53 Embraer E-175 jets. Republic will purchase and operate the 76-seat aircraft under the American Eagle livery starting at midyear.

All 53 aircraft will be in service by the first quarter of 2015, the carrier said. A hearing has been set for Thursday to discuss the Republic contract.

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631

Twitter: @Sky_Talk ___

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