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February 27, 2013

How do former TWA pilots fit in to the US Airways merger? American has an answer

Former TWA pilots, who have been fighting for seniority since its airline was bought by American back in 2001, may get some sort of seniority protection even as American prepares to close its pilot base in St. Louis.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made on Wednesday, American addressed the question of what will happen to TWA captains that were hired back in 1988. It appears that prior to any seniority integration completed in the proposed US Airways-American merger is settled, the TWA pilots will go through arbitration first.

The arbitration will address contractual protections for the former TWA pilots and whether or not the pilots are guaranteed captain positions at American. Any seniority integration agreement with US Airways will have to abide by the TWA arbitration result, the company said.

Last year, a group of TWA pilots filed a lawsuit against American, alleging they received poor seniority placement at American after the TWA purchase and that the one protection they were given - that a St. Louis pilot base would remain open - was being taken away as part of American's bankruptcy restructuring. The case is still pending in a federal court in Missouri.

Keep reading for American's full response to the TWA question.

-Andrea Ahles

What is going to happen to the TWA captains that have been captains for more than 15 years, but have a seniority number of about 6,000 and a hire date of 1988?

A: Prior to any seniority integration with US Airways, the Company and APA will conclude an interest arbitration under LOA 12-05, dealing with the termination of fence provisions under Supplement CC. The arbitration will determine substitute contractual protections for the former TWA pilots as a result of the termination of Supp CC, including whether former TW pilots are guaranteed certain CA positions on American. The seniority integration process with US Airways will be subject to the outcome of the LOA 12-05 interest arbitration.

American cannot speculate on the outcome of the seniority integration process with US Airways. The MOU provides that, if the merger is approved, the new company and committees representing the interests of the pilots will conduct a seniority integration process that complies with the federal McCaskill-Bond legislation. That process would begin with negotiations, but if the parties are unable to achieve a single seniority list through those discussions, the matter would be submitted to arbitration as outlined in the legislation. For more information on the anticipated timeline for seniority integration and other processes, please refer to Merger 101 on new Jetnet.


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Comments

Paul Medford

Everyone involved be very glad the US Airways pilots aren't driving the boat. Still, don't expect they will honor any arbitrated agreement in the end. Historically, they don't.

The arbitor (Nicolau) who oversaw the America West-US Airways arbitration, is rumored to be a part of the panel that will settle AA-US Air, should it become necessary. Interestings times may be ahead.

Kate

Start popping the popcorn!

Del Daldottoo

So what happened to all of the TWA flight attendants?

ekim

How soon those TWA people forget. TWA was bankrupt. The TWA people would have been out on the street, without jobs. AA came along and bought TWA and gave most TWA people jobs. Now the TWA folks want it all!

RL

ekim,

The TWA folks have not done much complaining considering how poorly American Airlines has treated them. Lets abandoned the crap that AA has done anything for the employees from TWA. By the way, the TWA employees work circles around ANY of the AA people.

joel

The Trans World Airlines just want what was promised and fair. American did not care about the people in STL OR MCI. American really does not care about AA workers. How is it fair when TWA was told STL and MCI would stay open. How is it fair when PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR over 20 years and have a lower seniority than somone hired three years ago. was at the end in 2001 american did not have to buy them...but they did and they should have kept the promis. It is not complaning or bitching it is people lives.

Zach

ekim,
My dad is a Twa pilot and he is a 89 hire he is still a first officer out of stl instead of a 767 captain out of mia where he should be. Please explain how a guy who has flown over 15,000 hours should be under some guy with 500 hours.

erb

I cannot believe the folks that claim that a bankrupt TWA would have put the employees on the street. Hmmm, since AA in bankruptcy and are those employees on the street? I'd say it is a convenient assumption for those at AA who wish to be able to sleep at night.

As the wife of a former 1988 hire who is a AA captain still on reserve after all of these years but is not going to lose 1/3 of his salary and go back to co-pilot to have a semi-normal life at age 57, this make s my blood pressure skyrocket. Our lives were turned upside down by the unfair treatment by APA, ALPA and AA all of these years. When does this apartheid end?

erb

Another food for thought: Since the arbitrator is picked by the company and the arbitrator wants them to choose them again for any other case, what incentive does said arbitrator have to rule fairly?
Or, am I missing something?

zach

So all of you who think AA pilots have the upper hand may i remind you that AMR is the bankrupt operation here so why should they not get the same treatment as the TWA guys.

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