Last updated: 10:53 AM ET, Tue July 14 2015

Flight Attendants Ask DOJ To Investigate American Airlines

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | July 14, 2015

Flight Attendants Ask DOJ To Investigate American Airlines

Just weeks after the Department of Justice announced it would investigate American, Delta, Southwest and United airlines for collusion and price-fixing, a small group of flight attendants is asking for another investigation.

The flight attendants have sent a letter to the DOJ asking for an investigation of American Airlines for what it calls "employee price-fixing" — setting fixed costs on a unionized workgroup by denying members the right to negotiate and ratify their collective bargaining agreement.

The group believes American practiced its own version of collusion with US Airways during merger talks two years ago and was undermined by its own union. The flight attendants claim their union president secretly met with US Airways executives at the home of the union chief’s cousin, who was the treasurer of US Airways and is now the treasurer of American Airlines Group.

The letter was dated July 5.

"To the detriment of the flight attendant workgroup, this meeting led to the forfeiture of the profit sharing plan that was awarded flight attendants in bankruptcy,” said Rock Salomon, American flight attendant and member of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants union. “This meeting also stripped members of their right to negotiate a fair and equitable contract in a post-bankruptcy environment by placing a cap on the value of the new contract — one predetermined by management. This process also denied members the right to ratify their own contract in the wake of 'historical profits.' "

As a result, a group of flight attendants has decided to seek legal counsel before their window for challenge expires in December.

“With the DOJ's concerns over antitrust, the idea that American could gain an unfair advantage over the competition by giving the carrier the lowest flight attendant costs for 24,000 flight attendants should raise more than a few eyebrows,” the group said in a statement.

The DOJ has yet to respond to the letter.

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