View Full Version : Unions oppose TWA deal

3rd Apr 2001, 02:38
The Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Mechanics' unions are now all opposing AAL's the buy of the barely breathing TWA. Evidently AAL management wanted a free hand to operate TWA as a separate company with freedom for unlimited hiring, at the bankrupt company, but flying under the AAL code. That would require a fundamental exception to the pilot's contract, which the pilots weren't willing to acquiese on without items of equal value in return from the company. The TWA deal is looking more and more like a BAD deal for AAL employees. Maybe TWA needs to start talking to Carl Ican again . . . but they've already dealt with that devil once before.

[This message has been edited by Dragitin (edited 02 April 2001).]

3rd Apr 2001, 18:36
Suspect that AAL will operate TWA as a separate entity at much lower cost. The AAL unions really have no input other than to object. Note that AAL have retained the B717 orders that TWA had, wonder if TWA will be folded into American Eagle and expanded as a low cost carrier?

3rd Apr 2001, 18:56
I suppose AMR could operate TWA as a separate company, but it still cannot operate it under the AA code without consent of the Allied Pilot's Association. If they do formally bankrupt TWA and operate whatever the new company would be called, I guess they can abrogate the TWA ALPA contract at will. Shades of Frankie again?

I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think TWA can make a go of it anyway on it's own, even as a low cost carrier. With very few exceptions, that model has proven a failure. The whole purpose of the deal was synergy and growth American Airlines. The amount of ill-will that this would generate among both the American and TWA employee groups would be staggering, and very costly. $742 million bucks for a defunct airline, with old crap equipment owned and the decent stuff leased, is darn expensive. I think the CEO of AMR is now finds himself waist deep in a swamp, with only the employees of TWA and AAL to pull him out. I'll bet that the BOD is VERY UNHAPPY about his handling of this affair. If I were him, I'd stop playing shell games with the unions and start negotiating in good faith.

Blue & White
4th Apr 2001, 06:12
OTOH, the TWA union seemed very arrogant and actually walked out of talks because APA would not give them date of hire. Why should any American Pilot give up seniority to someone off the street from another airline.
After all, where did TWA put the Ozark pilots. I think if the roles were reversed, TWA would put American at the bottom of the seniority list. Overall, it's better to let the TWA guys go to Jet Blue or FedEX and leave American in it's present position.


4th Apr 2001, 07:29
As it stands now, American pilots could lose big with this deal. You can bet there won't be any profit sharing next year (or for the forseeable future) due to the price paid for TWA's carcass. You can also bet that in addition to a bunch of junk airplanes getting parked (including almost half their wide-bodies), a bunch of it's flying is eventually going away -- probably leaving a large surplus of TWA pilots. With APA's contract pay rates 40-50% above TWA's, TWA pilots come into a bonanza. If they get anything other bottom seniority, they hit the lotto. American pilots get almost nothing, except the priviledge of paying for it out of their paychecks. ALPA/TWA may be under the mistaken impression that TWA is something more than a dying, bankrupt company that would have had the "Closed" sign at ticket counters months ago.

If they want this deal to get done, both the ALPA/TWA and AMR are going to have to give something back to the American pilots in return for major concessions in contract scope and overall loss of compensation.

BTW, ask some former long-time TWA pilots who saw the writing on the wall and gave up seniority to start over with American -- where THEY think their former colleages should go on the seniority list.

The APA got burned badly by the RENO deal. Doubt if they're going to let that happen again. As ALPA and AMR wants it now, it's a long, long way from any deal

[This message has been edited by Roadtrip (edited 04 April 2001).]

Ignition Override
4th Apr 2001, 09:26
It must be a grim situation for the regular TWA line pilots, after the years of devastation caused by Icahn. I just hope they continue (along with the other employees) to have the same jobs indefinitely.

Being much over 45 makes hunting for pilot jobs often impossible, at least at the better companies. One "lucky" former Braniff guy (had been a DC-8 Captain?) was hired in his mid-fifties at a major US airline in the 1980's, and started out on the Convair 580 at about minimum wage the first year, with a modest pay increase the second year.

8th Apr 2001, 22:45
Ignition Override,

I agree that it must be grim for TWA guys, but on the other hand, say, for example, you were on the Titanic, and its sinking, but instead of sinking in 2 hours, it takes 10 years!!!! and for these ten years the passengers had chances to jump off and be rescued by other ships, but elected to stay on the Titanic...after awhile the sympathy starts to whane, and increduelity takes over. I hope them well, I know a few, but I don't have alot of sympathy for them, especially in light of the good fortune they have in AA's offer to buy them. PS I don't fly for AA, matter of fact I was hired in 94 at TWA, and had to turn them down after I crunched the numbers of their pay rates...they were pathetic with a capital P.

dallas dude
9th Apr 2001, 04:30

If you're going to make authoritative statements, it'd be a good idea to have a working knowledge of AA's contract.

ALL flying done at AA is covered by their green book (contract). ALL pilots must be on APA's seniority list (whether they like where they're put or not). TWA can only be operated as a stand alone carrier by AMR (for consideration of blending the operation of the two airlines) with an exemption negotiated from APA. This is because of APA's Scope clause. Without this exemption, AMR is breach of the contract and APA can ask a Court to rule on this violation.

APA has asked for AA rates for TWA's pilots based on their length of service with TWA as of March 12th 2001 (DoA). AA (AMR) has offered to pay the TWA folks AA rates as of Jan 1st 2002 based on seniority.

Unfortunately, TWA folks are so concerned about seniority it seems they're about to cut their own throats regarding AA green book payrates and work rules.

TWA, by not accepting APA's helping hand, are going to wake up one day and realise AMR railroaded them. Then, they'll expect APA to ride to the rescue again. APA have already been bitten once, etc.......

Sadly, Uncle Donnie has wasted another great opportunity to put his people first (BOTH AA's and TWA's). It could soon be time for him to follow in his masters footsteps (RLC) and go sail the seven seas.


9th Apr 2001, 04:38
DD -

What's your take on new representation elections as a result of the buyout?