After four years of often-tense negotiations, American Airlines has reached a tentative deal with a union representing 31,000 of its workers — many of whom live in North Texas.
The Fort Worth-based airline and the TWU-IAM association each released statements Thursday night announcing the breakthrough. The TWU-IAM said the package of five collective bargaining agreements was worth $4.2 billion.
The package spells out dozens of new terms that will govern salaries, bonuses, medical coverage, overtime and other benefits and protections for mechanics, fleet service and other workers.
“Our Maintenance & Related and Fleet Service team members are the very best in the business and work incredibly hard to care for our customers,” Doug Parker, American chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “They deserve contracts that include meaningful improvements in pay, quality of life and job protections. The tentative agreements deliver on all of these — and more. We appreciate the Association and company negotiators who worked so hard to get us to this day, as well as the National Mediation Board for their guidance.”
Terms of the deal were spelled out in five separate agreements, all of which are to be formalized in the next few weeks. The contracts call for workers to get hefty raises, signing bonuses and to participate in profit sharing.
“These Agreements in Principle will provide all Association members with wages, benefits, work rules, job security and retirement income that had never before been accomplished,” The TWU-IAM said in a statement posted on its website. “Total compensation (wages, premiums, retirement, and profit sharing) is the richest in the industry. Not only are all Association members’ jobs protected in their locations, but more importantly, we were able to protect the work we do. The considerable benefits to all members will be immediately apparent.”
Signing bonuses ranged from $3,000 to $6,000, depending upon the category of worker.
Raises also varied dramatically, depending upon job positions. For example, mechanics’ raises would range from 5.5 to 16.1%.
In addition, many positions also received substantial base pay rate increases.
The deal is the first of its kind for the airline and its largest union. The two sides had not come to terms since before the 2013 merger of American Airlines’ former parent company — AMR Corp. — and US Airways Group.