CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines Holdings Inc. O and its union announced on Thursday, after more than four years of often acrimonious negotiations, interim collective agreements for five fleet maintenance and service groups. The interim agreements provide the industry with the best protection against outsourcing and the safety of iron use. These agreements require immediate increases between 4% and 18%. These increases, combined with the 2016 interim wages, have increased pay rates from 23% to 53% since the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. These agreements also offer the industry`s best profit-sharing formula, which includes bonuses of $3,000 to $6,000, increases premium payments, maintains generous improvements in retirement plans, affordable health insurance options, and ensures each member`s work at their current location. In January 2020, members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority`s (MTA) largest fare unit, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, ratified a new employment contract. The treaty, which covers May 16, 2019 until May 15, 2023 and more than 37,000 employees, increases compensation and includes savings initiatives.1 The 9.8% cumulative salary increase will cost more than $1 billion by 2023, $129 million more than in the November 2020-23 MTA budget. In addition, the non-wage costs of the four-year agreement will cost at least $64 million. Some of these costs are offset by savings on health care and staff availability; However, the net cost of the agreement will increase the MTA`s four-year budget deficit by $16.5 million. For more details on the agreements, click here. Additional information, including the full language of the contract, will be made available to all members prior to the scheduled vote.
If the MTA negotiates similar agreements (and savings) with its other bargaining units, it will cost $11.7 million more than the financial plan provides. In order to maintain the neutrality of the financial plan`s effects, the agreements should include greater savings, including changes to labour rules, to offset the effects of these increased costs. In addition, the Employment Services Productivity Committees established by the TWU Treaty should set productivity targets and report public quarterly on savings to ensure accountability. “Our negotiating team recognized the importance of negotiating this founding agreement and prioritized the long-term job security of our members, the codification of work rules and quality of life issues in this agreement. Putting more than 5,000 crew members under the protection of a union contract, making it in the middle of Covid-19 is a Herculean performance,” said John Samuelsen, President of TWU International. The MTA has taken a step in the right direction by incorporating productivity committees into the new TWU treaty.