American Airlines unions continue fighting for the best possible outcome in the bankruptcy of parent company AMR. Earlier this week, five out of seven work groups in the Transport Workers Union, the largest union at American, voted to accept contract offers:
Under the deal, according to TWU, workers would make make concessions on wages and benefits, and American would retain some of the 9,000 TWU member jobs it had originally proposed to eliminate. TWU and AMR said that ratifying the contracts saved those five bargaining units a total of 1,300 jobs, and that had the maintenance and related positions bargaining unit voted to ratify, it would have saved an additional 1,960.The unions are pushing for a merger between American Airlines and US Airways, with an expert for the flight attendants union testifying in bankruptcy court that a merger is "not an option. It's not an alternative. It's inevitable."
An American Airlines spokesperson told the Associated Press following the vote that if the court approved its motion to override contracts, its maintenance hub in Tulsa could be cut from 7,000 workers down to 4,700. Historically, companies usually win such motions; this one is being heard by Judge Sean Lane in New York.
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- The National Association of Charter School Authorizers was a member of ALEC through at least 2009, and may still be a member today. That shouldn't come as a huge surprise, since ALEC embraces the corporate education reform model, but what's noteworthy is that the National Association of Charter School Authorizers gets funding from many school districts and state departments of education.
- Another attempt to cut pensions, another lockout: Republic Services/Allied Waste locked out its Teamster workers in Evansville, Indiana, because they wouldn't accept a move from a traditional pension to a 401(k). Republic workers in four cities recently went on strike after the company tried to back out of a contract agreement.
- The U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement was supposed to be contingent on Colombia cleaning up its record of murdered union activists, but since President Obama moved it forward a few weeks ago, another activist has been murdered. In April, another was kidnapped or disappeared and two more were threatened.
- Ever wonder where the nearest union grocery store is? The United Food and Commercial Workers has a new smartphone app to help you shop union.
- The Atlantic's Derek Thompson ends a thoughtful piece on unpaid internships with some questions for employers of interns to ask themselves:
(1) Is there no overlap between paid and unpaid work at your company? (2) Can you deny that unpaid internships deny to low-income students an experience that many employers consider mandatory? (3) Would a minimum wage salary paid to a handful of students compromise your company's financial position? I cannot imagine an honest person with passing knowledge of unpaid internships in America answering any of those three questions "yes."
- House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa has been busy busy busy. The California Republican has used his committee leadership for a series of campaigns against unions and union rights.
- "Over 100 children a year die working on farms: Why do prominent right-wingers fight safety regulations?" Okay, the answer to that question isn't so tough (they don't care what happens to poor immigrant kids), but the details are worth knowing.
- New York City may offer buyouts to idled teachers whose jobs have been cut but who can't be laid off under their union contract.