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American Airlines has filed a lawsuit against its mechanics unions, saying a joint work downturn has generated almost 2,200 flight cancellations and delays since February and shows no signs of abating as the summer travel season begins on Friday.
The airline filed a suit Monday in federal court in Texas against the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (TWU). The two sides have been in contract talks since 2015 after the American-US Airways merger.
American says mechanisms are unlawfully engaging in a recession to get leverage in discussions. The lawsuit claims they are taking an”inordinately long time to fix aircraft” and refusing to work overtime. It states the moves have resulted in 644 unplanned cancelled flights and 1,500 flaws, including 270 delays of two and hours.
“The odds of this being arbitrary as opposed to concerted activity is significantly less than one-in-one billion,” the suit says. The unions did not deal with the allegations of a slowdown in their reaction on Tuesday.
In a declaration, the joint IAM-TWU Association said it is unfortunate American is taking them to court rather than negotiating a contract and that American is frustrated because mechanics refuse to permit more upkeep and repair work to be outsourced to South America, China and Europe.
“The association is prepared and willing to return to the bargaining table in any moment and negotiate a fair joint collective bargaining agreement, but to do so would have a ready partner,” the announcement said. “We’d much like to be at the negotiating table than in a legal conflict caused by American.
“American’s allegations are strikingly similar to those levelled by Southwest Airlines against its mechanic’s union earlier this year during a bitter labour dispute. The airline, which stated the maintenance delays and cancellations were breaking the airline millions of dollars weekly, filed a lawsuit against the marriage in early March. The two sides reached a tentative contract later that month.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association announced Tuesday that Southwest mechanics overwhelmingly ratified the contract. American said the alleged care downturn has intensified since the last negotiation session with the marriages, overseen by the National Mediation Board, ended on April 25. The lawsuit states it’s now causing an average of 14 cancellations per day, in comparison to eight a day a few weeks ago.
It asked for a preliminary injunction against the marriage because the alleged campaign threatens to disrupt the airline’s summer journey operations seriously. American said an additional 2,200 flights could be cancelled or postponed (2+ hours) during the peak summer travel period if the slowdown continues at current levels, which might affect more than 300,000 passengers.
American Airlines President Robert Isom said Tuesday the airline requires the unions to halt the downturn and stated he has”complete confidence” they will.”We want everybody pulling In precisely the same way, and I’m quite confident we will get there,” Isom said during a presentation to investors in New York.