|Taber Estes Thorne & Carr Bankruptcy Attorney Mark Ralston quoted in NBCDFW.com news story |
AA, Pilots Return to Court
|September 4, 2012 11:42 pm|
American Airlines returns to court on Tuesday in a contentious fight to throw out its contract with pilots and impose cuts -- a move the pilots say would be "professional Armageddon" but the airline argues is necessary to return to profitability.
The hearing, in U.S. bankruptcy court in New York, comes after the airline struck concessionary deals with its two other major labor groups, which represent flight attendants and ground workers.
If Judge Sean Lane rejects the pilots' contract, American said it would impose cuts already outlined in a "term sheet," a detailed list of proposals that pilots rejected.
Tuesday's hearing is expected to last just several hours. The judge would most likely announce his decision in the following few days.
Dallas attorney Mark Ralston, a bankruptcy expert, said he expects American to win.
"I think the judge is going to accept the modifications and reject the agreement," he said.
Ralston noted that the imposed cuts would be temporary and the airline and the pilots will ultimately have to negotiate a new contract, a process complicated by the tense relationship between both sides.
"Let's face it -- American and its labor have had a contentious relationship for a long time," he said.
Leaders of the pilots' union are making preparations to call a strike vote if the airline implements cuts but acknowledge it would be difficult to strike while the company remains in bankrupcty.
© 2012 NBCUniversal, Inc.
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