The Transport Workers Union said Thursday that it and American Airlines have modified the recently approved TWU contracts so that employees can enjoy much the same things that pilots would get in the proposed pilot contract.

Five groups of employees represented by TWU approved new deals on May 15. Those deals included a a “me-too” clause that said they’d get a better contract if any other American Airlines union got terms better than the ones in the TWU contracts.

On Wednesday, the Allied Pilots Association board of directors approved a tentative agreement and sent it to members for a vote. The vote is scheduled to be completed Aug. 8. The company’s proposal to the pilots triggered the “me-too” provisions in the TWU contracts.

“The ‘me-too’ clauses created an avenue for further reduction of the ‘ask’” from American, TWU international president Jim Little said. “This strategy worked as intended today.”

He said TWU members “appreciate that we were prudent in negotiating me-too clauses and that AMR kept its word. We will now try to build on the progress that has been made to reach consensual agreements for our maintenance /related and stores bargaining units.”

“Since we reduced the cost savings target from 20 to 17 percent in our negotiations and tentative agreement with the APA, we met with these TWU groups to make similar adjustments,” American spokesman Bruce Hicks said.

“We’re pleased we were able to work with the TWU to identify and agree upon items to adjust in each of these five contracts,” Hicks said.

The TWU spelled out how the revised contracts different from the original ones:

–  “The agreements call for the elimination of a two percent pay cut for fleet employees and generally provided pay raises over the life of the contracts.”

– The union accepted lower profit-sharing payments in exchange for guaranteed pay raises.

– The company’s 5.5 percent match for the 401(k) plan will include overtime pay and additional pay, not just base pay.

– The increase in employee-paid premiums, deductibles, maximums and prescription costs were moderated.

– The six-year contract includes a provision to open talks after the fourth year.

Said Hicks: “These adjustments will give our people additional pay, a revised profit sharing plan, and modified active medical coverage while still allowing us to implement a business plan that will let us exit restructuring and vigorously compete and win.”

On Aug. 15, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane is to issue his ruling on American’s motion to reject all union contracts that haven’t been renegotiated and approved.

At the present time, we have the five TWU contracts, approved; the APA contract, renegotiated but not yet voted on by members; the Association of Professional Flight Attendants contract, not renegotiated but with talks to begin next week; and two TWU contracts, renegotiated, rejected and with more talks to begin next week.

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