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Member Update and TA Summary

October 10th, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We would like to set the record straight with regard to the tentative agreement that we reached with American Airlines last week. We’ve summarized in detail what has been agreed upon, including wages, job security, scope of work, health insurance, and other items. Click here to read the summary.

First, let us say something about the process. We, your elected bargaining committee members, along with other staff of CWA and IBT, worked diligently to negotiate this agreement for nearly 10 months. We’ve been proud and honored to take on this challenge because this is the commitment we made, to do everything in our power to negotiate a fair agreement for Passenger Service Employees at the new American Airlines. With one exception, we believe we have reached that goal and we’re proud of this tentative agreement.

American Airlines management came to the table with several goals: to cut labor costs by closing more than 30 small stations, to gut our scope of work language, and to eliminate our job security protections. We fought back, and with support from members who mobilized throughout the system, we were able to save all 30 of the stations the company wanted to contract out. We secured double protections for Baggage Service employees by providing No Furlough and No Displacement protections. And we kept important job security provisions in the new agreement.

But negotiations are a give and take. Of course, it would be much simpler if we didn’t have to deal with the company, but the fact is we have to negotiate to reach a collective bargaining agreement. Imagine if we had no union, we would have no voice and no seat at the table. The company could unilaterally implement terms and conditions of our employment, including wages, health insurance, and work rules.

As in every negotiation, neither side got everything it wanted. Last week, after a major battle over scope of work, we—again, with one exception—concluded that we’d reached the best possible agreement based on the leverage we brought to the table. We decided to conclude the negotiations and bring the tentative agreement to you, the members, for a vote.

As we prepare for the ratification process, which will begin later this month, we will continue to provide accurate information in a variety of formats, including e-mail, a video presentation, and in-person explanatory meetings at several work locations. All members of the bargaining committee will participate in the video production, and all members of the committee will participate in the explanatory meetings. To be clear, every bargaining committee member will not attend every explanatory meeting because of the logistical challenges of holding several meetings in a short time frame. Therefore, we’ll divide up into teams, and a few bargaining team members will present at each meeting.

Despite what you may have heard, we are not holding back the tentative agreement in a nefarious effort to obfuscate and manipulate the membership. The fact is it takes time for union and company attorneys to carefully craft precise contract language based on the tentative agreement we reached at the table. This is completely normal. As soon as the agreement is complete, we will post it at our website for everyone to download and read.

In the meantime, we hope the details here clear up some of the confusion and correct the misinformation that has spread over the past week.

In unity,

Ron Collins, Bargaining Co-Chair, CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association

Andy Marshall, Bargaining Co-Chair, CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association

Ken Grunwald, CWA Bargaining Representative, LAA-SERO

Vickey Hoots, CWA Bargaining Representative, LUS-INT

David Mays, IBT Bargaining Representative, LAA-HBR-Tucson

Brian Nicoll, IBT Bargaining Representative, LUS-PHX

Richard Shaughnessy, CWA Bargaining Representative, LAA-MIA

Kimberly Barboro, Vice Co-Chair, CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association

Marge Krueger, Vice Co-Chair, CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association