FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – American Airlines says it’s ready to play hardball with its three big unions.

Today the bankrupt airline told the unions and the judge in its bankruptcy case that unless it quickly reaches consensual agreements on a new contract with the unions, it will ask a judge next week to scrap the unions’ current contract and immediately restart negotiations.

In legal parlance, the move American is threatening is called a Section 1113 filing.

The unions involved are the Transportation Workers Union, which represents mechanics, baggage handlers, and similar employees; the Allied Pilots Association; and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

Earlier today American sent this letter to its employees explaining its intentions.

Shortly after the airline’s announcement, TWU president James C. Little released the following statement:

“We have always been prepared to fight for our members — either by reaching an agreement or going to court. We are prepared for either eventuality. While we would prefer a consensual deal with AMR, our lawyers also are preparing to defend our members and their families before the judge. “

American Airlines is based in Fort Worth.

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