US Airways & American Airlines: World’s largest Merger

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In a landmark judgment, a merger settlement between the AMR Corp and the US Airways Group was recently approved; much against the opposition by the U.S. regulators.

This facilitated the AMR Corp to raise from bankruptcy and a forge a tie-up in a move that would create the world’s largest airline tie-up.

aam3The plan mooted by AMR to exit bankruptcy and pay back its creditors had been challenged by the Department of Justice as it felt that the merger could impede competition and hence was against the interest of commuters.

However, after prolonged negotiations, the matter was settled with both the airlines agreeing to trade off some of their landing and takeoff rights at certain major airports.

Touted as the biggest mega-merger of airlines during the year 2015, this move saw thousands of unionized agents coming together. At the joint union election, the airline employees overwhelming voted in favor of unionizing and joining with the CWA-IBT.

The election involved almost 14000 employees working at the various airport Customer services and the call centers’ of these two Airlines. Some of them were also working from home. While quite a lot of them had not been the union employees in the American Airlines earlier but joined recently. The balance were on the strength of the union already.  The merger also signified the largest body of unions as the private companies in the US. Had the group voted down the union, the already-unionized US Airways workers would have lost their contract.

Many of the American Airlines representatives and employees heaved a sigh of relief as they said it had been a long road after so many years of uncertainty and they have felt better about their future.  Clearly they are looking forward to a good tenure with this merger that would carry forward the legacy of both the airlines in a more profitable manner.

As per reports of national mediation board which  had been in charge of overseeing the entire elections,  the vote had gone  overwhelmingly in favor of forming a joint union by a margin of almost 8 times; which indicated that such a move had a grassroots level support amongst the employees of both airlines.  It also signified one of the largest unionization actions in the private sector in the recent times.

According to Paul Flaningan, speaking on behalf of the American Airlines – since the issue of the union representation had now been settled both the companies can look up towards better times.  He termed the move to join CWA-IBT as a productive relationship and mentioned that everyone was looking forward to working together productively.

As per Tom Paskutis, a supervisor at the US Airways’ customer service division based at Charlotte, North Carolina, the union’s growing ranks will facilitate the workers of both airlines and give them more job stability. He further added that the US Airways was glad to get the American Airlines on board by this merger, as it added to their strength by giving them more negotiating power in any venture that comes along.

 

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