Union Tells AA "No!"
Tulsa, OK – Today, members of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) at two American Airlines bargaining units have voted to reject tentative contract agreements with the airline reached in May, while a third unit has voted to ratify the agreement. In a large turnout, 10,251 eligible TWU members cast ballots out of a possible 12,800.
TWU mechanics voted down the agreement by a vote of 6,074 to 3,371. With 64 percent opposed; stock clerks voted to reject the agreement by a vote of 384 to 332, with 54 percent against; while technical specialists voted to approve the agreement 60 to 18, a 77 percent "yes" vote.
"Our members have spoken loud and clear," said TWU International Vice President Garry Drummond, who heads the union's Air Transport Division. "After four years of negotiations, a majority of TWU members in our Mechanic and Related, and Stock Clerk groups were not convinced that this agreement represented an adequate return for the hundreds of millions of dollars of sacrifices we agreed to in 2003, to keep American planes in the air and prevent our employer from filing for bankruptcy. However, for workers in our Technical Specialist group, salary increases and improvement in benefits were enough for passage."
For the two units that voted "no", this was not only a vote to reject, but also a vote to authorize a strike, if necessary. TWU has requested a release from the National Mediation Board (NMB) in order to pursue self-help remedies,
"We will continue our efforts, on all fronts, to make sure that the full value of our members' contribution to the success of this airline is recognized by our employer, said Drummond."