TWU Details American Deal
- When American and the TWU reached a tentative deal earlier this month for the airline’s mechanics, it put to rest (for the time being) one of the longest-running and most contentious of the carrier’s labor negotiations. Remember, relations between management and the union deteriorated to the point that American took the mechanics to court last year, alleging the workers were slow-walking maintenance on aircraft. American’s on-time results suffered, the carrier alleged.
All that is in the past now with the new deal. Terms of the deal are generous. American’s mechanics get pay raises of between 13-25% over the five-year term of the agreement, with 5-16% raises immediately upon ratification. Changes also include more robust retirement, health, and vacation benefits. And the union got much of what it had demanded during negotiations on a key point: Retaining maintenance work in the U.S. The agreement requires American’s maintenance workers to do half of its aircraft overhaul hours. Domestic line maintenance must be done in-house at one of 26 stations, and international line maintenance outsourcing is limited to 11% for the first two years of the five-year deal, rising to 12% afterward. The deal also requires American to keep at least 2,600 aircraft overhaul mechanics, as well as several hundred more engine-overhaul and component-maintenance jobs, the union told Airline Weekly.
The union further added that the combination of work required and minimum number of employees makes it an industry leading agreement, besting those at Delta, Southwest and United, each of which either do not have minimum headcount provisions or stipulations against outsourcing.
One interesting piece of the deal: Profit sharing. CEO Doug Parker has been vocal in the past of his disdain for profit sharing as an element of employee compensation. Yet, profit sharing is a significant part of the deal.
The agreement now goes before workers, and TWU expects ratification, barring “false narratives on social media that we will address and dispel once we educate members on the final tentative agreements.”
- United is opening a pilot-training school. The carrier is taking over the Westwind School of Aeronautics and renaming it the United Aviate Academy. The school will be part of the United Aviate program, a pilot-training pipeline the airline launched last year.
United anticipates hiring 10,000 pilots by 2028, and the Aviate Academy will train 300 in its first year. A focus of the program is increasing the number of women and minority pilots and to reduce the financial barriers that prevent aspiring pilots from entering the profession.
The Air Line Pilots Association is working with United on the Aviate program.◄