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Machinists Request NMB Release Mechanics At US Airways
By Mike Mitchell

March 20, 2013 - The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today formally requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) release its US Airways Mechanic & Related members from further mediated contract negotiations and initiate a thirty-day countdown to a strike.  

When the NMB releases both parties from mediated talks, the agency would then make a proffer of binding arbitration. If either party rejects the proffer, a 30-day cooling off period would begin. If an agreement still cannot be reached by the end of the 30 days, IAM members would be free to strike.

“It has become crystal clear that US Airways has no intention of concluding a fair agreement with its mechanics,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “CEO Doug Parker has been too busy negotiating with employees from another airline to bother with his own employees. He has infuriated IAM members by preferring to negotiate terms with people who have never sacrificed a single cent to keep US Airways flying.”

IAM Mechanic and Related members have been in negotiations with US Airways for more than two years, and in mediated talks since July 2011. The carrier has refused to alter its last four inadequate comprehensive economic proposals, creating the current impasse. 

“Federal law dictates what happens when a carrier is unwilling to engage in meaningful bargaining,” said Higginbotham.  “The dispute moves from the bargaining table to the street. It is time for the NMB to authorize that next step.” 

The Machinists Union represents approximately 14,000 workers at US Airways and is the largest union at the carrier. Separate negotiations between the IAM and US Airways for the Fleet Service classification will resume next week.



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