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April 25, 2012
Citing labor costs that were uncompetitive with United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, American Airlines (AMR) filed for bankruptcy in November 2011. Now the conflict is between management and the unions--restructuring as an independent carrier or merging with another airline--according to Reuters.
If AMR management pursues its current plan to reorganize as a stand-alone carrier, it will cut 14,200 jobs.
To save jobs, the AMR unions support a merger between American Airlines and US Airways. Labor groups representing American's pilots, flight attendants, and ground workers say that if a deal is struck to merge with US Airways, then 6,200 of those 14,200 jobs could be preserved.
AMR has pursued deals with its unions on concessions, but it has drawn outrage by workers, who point to sacrifices that they have made to keep the company afloat in 2003.
Only after it emerges from bankruptcy as an independent company, then it may consider a merger with another airline, AMR management has said.
The battle continues. The airlines has asked the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan for permission to void labor contracts, but it may be too late. A hearing is set for next week.
Who do you think is right in this conflict? Who do you think will win?
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