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Teamsters End Attempt To Represent American Airlines Mechanics

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Image of an American Airlines plane. Image of an American Airlines plane.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters says it's ending its campaign to represent aircraft mechanics and related personnel at American Airlines.

The mechanics at American, including the thousands who work at Tulsa's maintenance base, have been represented by the Transport Workers Union since 1946.

The Teamsters mounted a serious bid to woo them, including sending representatives to Tulsa several times over the last year to try to convince them to vote for the switch.

Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell released the following statement on the Teamsters' web site Friday:

 "The Teamsters Union has determined that the recent announcement that the federal government will fight the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines places the workers at American Airlines in significant turmoil. American Airlines' emergence from bankruptcy has been cast into doubt and the union has determined that the continued conflict between labor organizations is not in the best interest of the workers. This is not a time for workers to fight among themselves."

8/15/2013: Related Story: Court Delays Ruling On American Airlines Reorganization Plan

In a letter posted on the TWU's web site, spokesman Donald Videtch said, "Since the IBT's initial filing for a representational vote, the TWU has been working diligently in order to protect our Members from an unwarranted raid that would undoubtedly put thousands of Members jobs of the TWU in jeopardy."

"The TWU has maintained that the IBT's filing was flawed and should not be moved onto a vote by the NMB. The IBT's decision to withdraw is a strong signal the work done by the TWU and the position we took was correct," wrote Videtich.

May 27, 2013: Related Story: American Airlines Workers To Vote On Joining Teamsters

The Teamsters say more than 6,000 American Airlines mechanics and related personnel signed cards to make the Teamsters their bargaining representative. The Teamsters thanked those members. 

American Airlines: Turbulent Times

In a statement released Friday afternoon, TWU President James Little said:

"Now that we do not have the distraction of an unnecessary campaign among already organized workers, we can redouble our efforts on battling the Department of Justice's unjustified legal challenge to the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The combined airline will protect good-paying U.S. jobs and benefit consumers by creating a real alternative to the Delta/United duopoly."

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