American Airlines unions throw support to US Airways takeover bid
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 14:04
Revenue grew 9.1 percent to $6 billion amid “significant demand and a positive pricing environment,” American said.
American said it paid about $3.24 per gallon of jet fuel, up 17 percent from $2.76 per gallon in the same quarter last year. It said it paid $325 million more for fuel in the first quarter of 2012.
The airline ended the quarter with $5.6 billion in cash and short-term investments. AMR has improved its cash position since it filed for bankruptcy, when it reported $4.8 billion in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet.
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As reports of the unions’ support for a takeover emerged on Capitol Hill, lawmakers from Texas called on all parties to stand down and let the bankruptcy process go forward.
“The American Airlines family has my complete support in its quest to remain an independent Texas-based company,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. “I am strongly opposed to any hostile takeover, and rumors to that effect only hurt AMR and its employees as they try to maneuver through the legal process. Any talks of mergers or acquisitions should wait until court proceedings are complete.”
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said, “American Airlines is in the midst of a very delicate bankruptcy, and it’s crucial that this process is allowed to continue in a timely manner without unnecessary distractions from those who want to talk of mergers or takeovers.”
Last weekend, the three union presidents issued a joint statement telling politicians to keep an open mind to possible industry consolidation after U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said she was concerned about takeover rumors disrupting American’s bankruptcy.
“We respectfully request that all stakeholders of American Airlines — including lawmakers and everyone else with a vested interest in the outcome of the restructuring — withhold judgment about any industry consolidation that could involve our airline until all of the facts become known,” the union presidents said.
Separately, the National Mediation Board ruled that a union representation election should be held for American’s agents and representatives to decide whether they want to become members of the Communications Workers of America. American’s airport agents and customer service representatives were informed Wednesday that American plans 1,200 layoffs in their work group and changes to their pay and work rules.
“The NMB did not give a specific date for the election,” American spokeswoman Missy Cousino said. “The company maintains its original position that the union did not demonstrate sufficient interest from the employees to qualify for an election.
“American is reviewing the NMB’s ruling and will continue to review its options as we await additional information from the NMB.”
(McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Maria Recio contributed to this report from Washington.)