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Bumpy Skies Ahead For US Airways Merger, Say Flight Attendants

Date: May 19, 2006

PHOENIX, AZ - On the one-year anniversary of the merger agreement between US Airways and America West Airlines, management's labor policies are jeopardizing chances for a smooth and successful merger, say flight attendant union leaders.  Contract negotiations are proceeding slowly with simple non-economic issues unresolved and violations of both current contracts running rampant.

Flight attendants at US Airways and America West are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants–CWA (AFA-CWA).  The merger agreement between US Airways and America West was announced on May 19, 2005.

In a joint statement, Mike Flores and Gary Richardson, AFA-CWA Master Executive Council Presidents at US Airways and America West said: "US Airways management is on a collision course with their over seven-thousand flight attendants at both airlines who are expecting contract improvements and recognition by management of the sacrifices they have made in order to make this merger possible."

Flores and Richardson put the new US Airways management on notice this week that the systematic violations of both current contracts will not be tolerated.

"If management's attitude at the bargaining table continues, predictions of a smooth merger will fall short," said Flores and Richardson.  "Given the company's intransigence on simple matters so far, it is hard to see how an agreement could be reached by the company's target date of May 2007."   

"Management is ignoring forty years of bargaining history at US Airways and has violated hard-fought contract rules in the America West contract," said Flores and Richardson.  "They are not acting like a company that wants a smooth merger."

Negotiations for a merged contract began in February 2006.  Management plans a combined operation by mid-2007, which will require a newly ratified flight attendant contract and combined seniority lists. 

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 46,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org. 

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