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Talk of an imminent merger between American Airlines and US Airways began heating up Friday after the three main unions at American Airlines signed off on the potential acquisition.
Reuters reports that the decision by the unions—which represent pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and ground workers—is seen as a bid to pressure a reluctant American to hammer out a deal.
AMR, the parent company of the struggling airline, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last November. Since then, American has been trying to cut annual labor costs by $1.25 billion, according to CBS News. In all, American is trying to scrap about 14,000 jobs, freeze employees’ pensions, and have its remaining employees work more hours, reports the Wall Street Journal.
American executives have suggested they are intent to emerge from the bankruptcy restructuring as a standalone carrier, but that hasn't stopped US Airways from pressing forward. The airline says that an American Airlines merger would bring in more than $1.5 billion in additional revenue and cost savings, and American's union employees see the potential deal as a likely job-saver.
The pubic support from the unions for the merger comes as AMR prepares for a New York bankruptcy-court trial this Monday over whether the company can reject its current labor contracts.