Today, September 12, 2018, American Airlines delivered Section 6 notices for all open TWU-IAM Association collective bargaining agreements. Simply stated, a Section 6 notice officially opens contracts under the Railway Labor Act. The TWU-IAM Association welcomes this gesture by the Company as a sign they will now get serious about reaching the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreements our members deserve.
Included in the Company’s communication to the Association is a notice of their intent to file for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB). This move is also welcomed by the Association. The NMB has previously been involved in these negotiations with the attendance of a Board member serving as the mediator. The Association looks forward to a Board member returning to our negotiating table.
We truly hope this is a sign that the Company will get serious in addressing the necessary wage, scope, retirement and healthcare issues it will take to reach agreement. It is high-time the Company stop its concessionary demands and recognizes the sacrifices our members have made to allow American Airlines and US Airways to merge and create the largest airline in the world. Our position of achieving the protections, pay and benefits our members deserve will not be hindered by this process, it will be amplified by it.
The involvement of the NMB in our negotiations does not mean a third party has the right or the ability to impose terms of any kind nor can it make decisions on our contracts or force decisions upon us, it merely introduces a facililitator into the process. It also does another thing: it begins the formal Railway Labor Act process that can eventually lead to cooling-off periods and eventually self-help. If American Airlines refuses to respect our membership and fails to reach satisfactory settlements, the TWU-IAM Association will exercise every option under the Railway Labor Act up to and including self-help. For that reason, the Association will begin assembling strike committees in all American Airlines represented locations.