Unions try to melt down American Airlines merger

The Teamsters are trying to gain the right to represent mechanics at both American Airlines and US Airways in separate campaigns. Today, they’ve presented signatures of, supposedly, more than 50% of the mechanics at American Airlines.

Meanwhile, the TWU and the IAM are agreeging to jointly love each other and represent groundworkers at the new merged airlines. But they’re both denouncing the Teamsters move to represent the mechanics.

American Airlines’ mechanics are currently represented by the TWU who are, according to some, perceived as not having done enough to preserve jobs.

It’s also notable that the Teamsters have taken some heavy losses in union elections of late.

What’s it all mean? It means that unions cannot actually get together and do a good job of both representing their membership, preserving jobs and working with an airline.

The impact will not be to American Airlines. It will come at the expense of union members. What union members are failing to realize is that they have limited amount of power and they are completely replaceable.

I would refer the mechanics to the mechanics of Northwest Airlines and their strike in 2005/2006.  Northwest Airlines was able to fly through the strike and while it was somewhat impacted, the airline survived nicely and got a settlement with the strikers that worked to their advantage.  At no time did the striking mechanics affect the airline in such a way that it became critical.

Some might dispute that.  I would point out that that strike lasted 15 months.  American Airlines (and US Airways) can find plenty of people to service their aircraft should the need arise.

The best thing that the TWU did for mechanics and others at American Airlines was that they did preserve jobs.  Far more than I would imagine possible.  They got their members a stake in the new company which will bring significant value to the table and they struck a deal that could be re-negotiated for better terms (and was) if someone else got a better deal.

If you can’t celebrate that and prefer shooting yourself in the foot, you deserve to be out of a job.


One Response to “Unions try to melt down American Airlines merger”

  1. You should correctly title this blog entry “Teamsters try to melt down AA merger,: rather than “Unions try to melt down AA merger.” I only see one Union trying to scuttle the agreement…

    Teamsters representing mechanics is as patently ridiculous as the UAW representing state government office workers.

    (no love lost on the two-headed horse)

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