US Airways pilots voted 75 percent in favor of a memorandum of understanding that will go into effect if the carrier merges with American Airlines.
The US Airline Pilots Association said the memorandum gives pilots "$1.6 billion in economic improvements" over the next six years. It also lays out a process to determine seniority integration if the merger occurs.
The board of American's pilots union, the Allied Pilots Association, have already agreed to the same memorandum.
"Your ratification also insures that your union will arrive at the merger as equal partners with APA in pay, benefits and working conditions - which is of paramount importance during any integration process," USAPA president Gary Hummel said in a letter to pilots.
Hummel added that he expects a decision on a merger soon.
Keep reading for the full memo from USAPA.
Today, your union ratified the MOU with 75% of the members voting to approve the agreement.
This is an historic vote. Should the merger of American Airlines and US Airways occur, your endorsement of this MOU now establishes a clear path forward for the pilots of US Airways, highlighted with $1.6 billion in economic improvements for you over the next six years. Of no less importance, your ratification also insures that your union will arrive at the merger as equal partners with APA in pay, benefits and working conditions – which is of paramount importance during any integration process.
Ten months ago when this process began, USAPA was relegated to the sidelines and ignored. Your union adopted an aggressive strategy and began working with other unions at US Airways to establish the Union Labor Coalition. We used an assertive communications and media approach, consulted with experts in mergers, visited Capitol Hill frequently, filed a legal motion in the American Airlines bankruptcy hearing and made our voice heard. As a result, your union was an equal participant in five-party negotiations that included the management of the two airlines, APA, USAPA and the UCC.
Perhaps most importantly, we learned how to work together, East and West, North and South, and with the leadership at APA. Our BPR, Negotiating Committee and Officers came together with one goal in mind – to achieve the best deal possible in a merger scenario for you and your families.
In the past, US Airways management has refused serious standalone negotiations with your union until seniority integration was resolved. Since management put that argument aside in the MOU negotiations, they can no longer use it as an excuse should the merger not occur.
The next step is finding out whether there will be a merger with American Airlines in bankruptcy. We expect that answer soon. If so, we will begin further negotiations with the parties to the MOU regarding the JCBA and finally, seniority integration.