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
TheStreet Open House

US Airways Union, Seeking Equal Pay With American, Awaits Strike Ruling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Officials from US Airways and its largest union met with the National Mediation Board on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the two groups went home with vastly different interpretations of what the board might do next.

"Based on the meetings, we expect the NMB to schedule additional sessions to continue our discussions," said US Airways spokesman Bill McGlashen.

But Joe Tiberi, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists, said the union "didn't receive any indication from the board that any meetings would be scheduled. We are not aware of any future meetings." An NMB spokesman declined, as usual, to comment.

At US Airways, the IAM represents about 5,800 fleet service workers and 3,500 mechanics. Both groups work under contracts that became amendable 26 months ago on Jan. 2, 2012. At American (AAL), the Transport Workers Union represents fleet service workers and mechanics, with a combined total of about 22,000. 

The IAM's position is that its members at US Airways should receive pay equal to what TWU members get for doing the same jobs at  American. US Airways contends the total value of the compensation packages is equal at the two carriers, even if pay rates alone are not. The two carriers merged on Dec. 9.

The IAM has asked the NMB for a finding that the talks have reached an impasse, which would trigger a 30-day cooling off period, after which the union would be free to strike. "We've met with the board and US Airways several times since November," Tiberi said. "The IAM and the carrier have not been able to agree -- that's why we're at the board. The negotiations aren't going anywhere."

American/US Airways management signed a contract with the TWU before American emerged from bankruptcy and entered into a merger. It argues that it wants to move ahead to negotiate contracts that would cover all of the mechanics and all of the fleet service workers at the combined airline, so there is no need to negotiate interim contracts with US Airways employees.

On Tuesday, TWU President Harry Lombardo declared that the IAM has TWU's support in its effort to be released by the NMB. "This is supposed to be the new and better American," Lombardo said, in a prepared statement.

"Management has said they want to have better labor relations than existed at either US Airways or the old American," Lombardo said. "Yet, the airline's leadership has locked mechanics and other ground workers represented by IAM into a second-class status where they get lower pay and fewer benefits than workers represented by TWU for the same work at the same airline."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,172.68 -107.06 -0.62%
S&P 500 1,994.29 -16.11 -0.80%
NASDAQ 4,527.6890 -52.10 -1.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs