Airline merger could divide labor union ranks

April 30, 2013 3:57:29 AM PDT
The president of the AFL-CIO is concerned that the merger of American Airlines and US Airways will trigger a costly fight between two unions over ground workers.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the two unions should call a truce and share representation of the airline employees.

Ground workers at Fort Worth-based American are represented by the Transport Workers Union. Those at US Airways are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Both unions belong to the AFL-CIO.

Over the weekend the unions disclosed that they reached an agreement on merger-related seniority. Seniority affects pay and work assignments -- and, sometimes, who gets laid off -- after airlines combine workforces.

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