FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – American Airlines is dealing with two upset groups of employees Thursday morning in its bankruptcy filings. Airline agents and union supporters will rally outside of the U.S. District Court in Fort Worth on Thursday to protest what they are calling an attack on their rights.
Supporters of the Communications Workers Union will gather at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday to demand representation and a voice in the bankruptcy proceedings. Passenger service agents and communications workers are the only American Airlines employees who are not represented by a union, and some say that the airline is trying to stop them from voting in union representation that has twice been scheduled by the National Mediation Board.
American Airlines is currently suing the mediation board. A hearing in that lawsuit is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, so workers are rallying outside of the courthouse to stand up for their right to vote.
But this is not the only employees facing a battle with the struggling airline. The pilots union on Wednesday night rejected sending the company’s final contract offer to union members for a vote. Instead, they are urging American Airlines to ask a federal bankruptcy judge to delay a decision in the matter and give them more time to negotiate.
Attorneys for the union said that the two sides are close to compromise, but if American Airlines does not ask the judge for a postponement on the decision — which is expected on Friday — the contract could be tossed out entirely. “If we can get an extension on this process,” said Tom Hoban of the Allied Pilots Association, “we believe that, within a couple of weeks, there’s a pretty good chance we can work out the detail on this contract.”
American Airlines said that it was disappointed with the union’s decision not to vote on the deal. There has been no word yet on if they will ask the judge to delay his decision.
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