American Airlines says union statements on new contract are misleading

TULSA - As the voting continues on American Airlines' final proposal for union workers, the airline has come out saying the union's statements on the new contract are misleading.

Voting began Thursday at 12:01 a.m. on the company's "last best offer," which the Tulsa Transport Workers Union says could save around 50 percent of the jobs on the line.

A six-year final contract offer is on the table for the workers, which includes shutting down the Fort Worth maintenance base and cutting pensions, retiree medical coverage and vacation days.

On Wednesday, the local union urged thousands of workers to get out and vote, and regional leaders voiced their support for the airline's offer.

On Friday, Vice President of Employee Relations Laura Einspanier said in a letter that some statements by TWU could be misleading.

Einspanier said it's important to understand that some of the provisions being offered by the company will only be implemented if the contract is accepted.

Among others, provisions include a 401(k) match of up to 5.5 percent, a 1.5 percent wage increase and a first dollar profit sharing plan.

If union members choose not to accept the offer, those benefits will not be implemented.

Voting continues through Monday night.

The text of Einspanier's letter is below.

There have been a number of misstatements recently made on the various Internet blogs, YouTube videos and other collateral material produced by some of the TWU Locals about the Company's March Term Sheets that are before the Court. They paint a very inaccurate picture of what will happen if the Company proposals are not ratified and the Court rejects the current collective bargaining agreements.

So there is no confusion about our intentions, let me reiterate the Company's position. Any provision in the March term sheet that was dependent on a ratified consensual agreement will not be implemented without the ratification of the consensual agreement. We have made that very clear throughout the negotiations process since February 1.

For example, the following items are available only under a ratified consensual agreement:

• 1.5% wage increases
• Early Out Incentive Allowance
• Company prefunding refund
• 401(k) match up to 5.5%
• 1st dollar Profit Sharing Plan
• Gain Sharing proposal

If the proposals do not ratify and if the court permits rejection of the collective bargaining agreements, the Company has no plans to implement these "upside" provisions until it achieves a ratified consensual agreement.

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