IAM District 142 announced that negotiations will begin today in Phoenix, AZ, on new contract terms for more than 3,300 Mechanic & Related and Maintenance Training Specialist employees at US Airways.
“Written off by industry experts as ‘dead on arrival’ twice, US Airways survived thanks only to massive sacrifices by employees in two bankruptcies,” said District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “US Airways enjoyed some of the largest profits in its history in 2010, along with the best maintenance operational performance in recent memory.”
This will be the first traditional negotiations between the IAM and US Airways to take place since 1995. Since then, negotiations were prompted either by the carrier’s two bankruptcies or its merger with America West Airlines in 2005. The IAM-US Airways post-merger negotiations resulted in wage increases, enhanced job security and a new defined benefit pension plan. The current agreement becomes amendable on December 31, 2011, but the contract provides for an early opening of negotiations.
“These negotiations are to regain and improve what was sacrificed in bankruptcy while working with US Airways to achieve our shared goal of a better airline for employees and passengers,” said Higginbotham.
The Mechanic & Related group is comprised of federally-licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics, Stock Clerks, Utility Workers, Maintenance Controllers, Planners, Quality Assurance and Technical Documentation Specialists. This group is responsible for the direct maintenance of US Airways’ fleet of jet aircraft.
Maintenance Training Specialists are tasked with training and keeping the Maintenance Department current on the vast amount of knowledge and skills required by the Federal Aviation Administration regulations.