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January 04, 2013

US Airways pilots union unanimously recommends merger MOU for ratification

The board of the US Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways pilots, voted unanimously to recommend a memorandum of understanding related to the potential merger between the carrier and American Airlines.

Details of the MOU were not disclosed as the union said it is still bound by the non-disclosure agreement between the two carriers and the unions. With the vote, USAPA said it recommends that the pilots review and ratify the memorandum in a vote after a merger is announced.

"If this merger transpires, we believe this MOU is the quickest and surest path to a better lifestyle for us all," the union said in a note to members on Friday afternoon.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American's pilots, approved the MOU in an 11-5 vote last week.

American and US Airways issued a joint statement saying the memorandum will help the boards determine if a merger should be pursued.

"American Airlines and US Airways, with participation of committee counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee, are pleased that they have completed discussions with the Allied Pilots Association and US Airline Pilots Association intended to develop a framework for the terms of employment for pilots, as well as a process for pilot integration, in the event of a merger between AA and US during restructuring," the carriers said.

Keep reading for the full USAPA message.

-Andrea Ahles

Fellow Pilots,

As you know, your union has been involved in discussions, unlike any our industry has experienced, regarding the potential merger between American Airlines and US Airways. These negotiations have included USAPA, the Allied Pilots Association, American Airlines, American Airlines’ Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC) and US Airways management. Over the holidays, much work went into achieving a newly proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Today, your Board of Pilot Representatives voted unanimously to recommend the proposed MOU to you, the pilots of USAPA, for your review and ratification. If all parties agree to the terms of the MOU, it would serve as a framework for an agreement if American Airlines and US Airways merge. If not approved by the other parties to the MOU, or if there is no merger between the two carriers, the MOU would be rendered null and void. If the other parties approve the MOU, but the USAPA pilots do not ratify it, the MOU will apply to the other parties, but not to us.

We realize that you are understandably interested in the details and specifics of the MOU. Due to the Non-Disclosure Agreement and applicable Securities and Exchange laws, we cannot disclose the terms of the MOU at this time. We are in discussions with the other parties to the MOU and the Unsecured Creditors Committee about the timetable for their review, and when we would be permitted to disclose the MOU to you. However, we can assure you three things:

First, the MOU will not be final with regard to you until you, the pilots of USAPA, vote to approve it.

Second, you will have access to complete and detailed information on the MOU before you are asked to vote. Depending on when the other parties complete their approval processes, the NAC will visit all crew bases by the end of January, and you will be able to hear first-hand from the NAC and ask any questions you have.

Third, if this merger transpires, we believe this MOU is the quickest and surest path to a better lifestyle for us all.

This is an important moment in your union’s history. This agreement is the result of the work of your BPR, Officers, NAC and our professional negotiating team. In particular, we would like to thank our NAC, including Chairman Dean Colello and Members Rocky Calveri, Ken Holmes, and John Owens for their tireless efforts in representing you and the pilots of this airline.

Thank you for your patience and support throughout this process.


Your Officers and Board of Pilot Representatives

Gary Hummel - President


Steve Bradford - Vice President

Rob Streble - Secretary-Treasurer

Steve Smyser - Executive Vice President

Bill McKee - CLT Chairman

Steve Crimi - CLT Vice Chairman

DeWitt Ingram - CLT Vice Chairman

Joe Stein - DCA Chairman

Pete Dugstad - DCA Vice Chairman

Steve "Spike" Szpyrka - PHL Chairman

Mike Gillies - PHL Vice Chairman

Jamie Weidner - PHL Vice Chairman

John Scherff - PHX Chairman

Dave Simmons - PHX Vice Chairman

Roger Velez - PHX Vice Chairman


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I wonder if Horton is packing up his office? Will be a great day to see the car being loaded up!

Retired One

The USAPA MOU is basically worthless. It is signed by an organization with a well documented history of disregarding legal precedent, and agreed and arbitrated seniority intergration. A vote of the USAPA pilots on ANY issue, will have the integration of these two groups in turmoil and disagreement for years to come.

I hope the Company, and APA, have watertight legal wording and specific performance well documented. The USAPA is an organization void of any integrity whatsoever.

Good luck to all at AA.


Interesting that the USAPA is clearly throwing the MOU into the hands of its pilots. When the terms can be publicly disclosed, it seems as though the US pilots will at least have a bit of control over their destinies...quite a difference from the more power hungry APA.

What will be most fascinating is the struggle that will ultimately ensue when the pilots must decide on union representation. The APA seems to think they have this one in the bag, but I wouldn't be so sure.

casual observer

In the APA's letter to members and subsequent press releases, there is no mention of a MOU being sent to rank and file pilots for a vote. Since the APA board vote was not unanimous, the board probably senses some angst among members and fears the outcome of a full vote. Apparently, transparency and sincerity are not the APA's forte.


USAPA can't even get itself sorted out from the America West merger in 2005. I agree with those who think this is not worth the paper it was printed on.

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