An American Airlines retiree has sued his union for not giving him shares in the new airline.
Thomas Powell, a member of the Transport Workers Union who worked at American’s Tulsa operations, alleges the union wrongly excluded American workers who took an early-retirement buyout in 2013 from receiving their portion of equity in American after it merged with US Airways.
“It was not until August 2013 that the Defendants informed the persons who took Early Separation that Defendants had decided to deny Plaintiff and the proposed class their previously-vested rights to the TWU Equity,” claims the lawsuit, which was filed last week in federal court in North Texas.
Powell is seeking class action status for the lawsuit, saying that about 2,000 TWU members applied for the early retirement program, and has asked for a jury trial. He also included several of the TWU local chapters as defendants in the lawsuit.
As part of American’s reorganization in bankruptcy, the TWU and its members negotiated a new concessionary contract that included an early retirement program in lieu of layoffs and guaranteed members an equity stake in American after it emerged from American.
“When TWU members asked about whether Early Separation might adversely affect receipt of their vested share of the TWU Equity, the Defendants refused to provide any information or guidance at all, even though the plan for TWU Equity distribution had to have been already considered,” the lawsuit says.
The TWU could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.