This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

US Airways Union Says Raid Halted Progress on New Contract

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- When the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced two months ago that it would seek to raid US Airways (LCC) mechanics and related workers, the incumbent International Association of Machinists was understandably displeased.

Not only was the IAM in danger of losing 3,500 members as well as hundreds of inactive members, but also the union was two years along the road to negotiating a new contract for the group and the talks had to be suspended. "We were at the end game," said IAM spokesman Joe Tiberi. "It had taken us two years to get to that point. We had asked for a release from the National Mediation Board. I don't know when or if (the board) would have acted on that request, because that is when everything stalled."

The new contract was to be, and still may be, the second contract the IAM has negotiated at US Airways since the 2005 merger with America West. Until a merger with American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) became likely, no other major union at the carrier had negotiated a contract following the merger.

Voting in the mechanics and related workers representation election begins today, with ballots to be counted on August 12. Ironically, a week ago, on July 1, mechanics received a 3% raise, as a result of the contract the IAM negotiated in 2009. That followed a 3% raise that took effect on July 1, 2012, seven months after the existing contract became amendable on Jan. 1, 2012.

If the Teamsters win, Tiberi said, it would take months to restart contract talks. Bill Wise, a union negotiator and president of IAM Charlotte Local 1725, said the airline and the IAM have reached tentative agreements on about 85% of contract issues, although key economic issues, including wages and retirement pay, are still to be negotiated. "We pretty much got derailed with the Teamster raid," Wise said.

As a starting point, the company proposed a 3% raise on the day of signing and a 2% raise eighteen months later. In response, the IAM proposed wage increases of approximately 13% over two years as well as increased pay for mechanic licenses. The proposals are short-term because the pending merger would bring new negotiations on a joint contract. Top-scale US Airways mechanics with ten years on the job currently earn about $68,000 annually.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
LCC $0.00 0.00%
UAL $44.35 -1.40%
AAPL $92.82 -0.45%
FB $118.05 0.20%
GOOG $705.04 0.51%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,601.85 -58.86 -0.33%
S&P 500 2,041.39 -9.24 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,687.7910 -29.3030 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs