New York’s 27 delegates to the US House of Representatives have asked American Airlines and its mechanics’ unions to reach an agreement that prevents jobs at New York-area airports from being shipped overseas.

Dallas/Fort Worth-based American employs more than 2,000 workers represented by the Transport Workers Union-International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (TWU-IAM) Association across New York JFK, New York Newark and LaGuardia airports.

In an Aug. 16 letter to American CEO Doug Parker and the heads of the TWU-IAM Association, the lawmakers wrote: “We again ask your organizations to work together in good faith to come to an agreement that maintains these American jobs ... While ensuring American safety standards are applied universally.” 

American spokesman Joshua Freed said in an emailed statement the company “shares the eagerness expressed in the letter to reach a new contract with our mechanic and fleet service team members.”

“American Airlines’ team members perform more maintenance and fleet service work in-house than any other US airline, including more than half of base maintenance and more than 85% of line maintenance,” Freed said. “This would continue to be the case under American’s industry-leading proposal to the TWU-IAM Association, and we are in the process of hiring additional mechanics.”

TWU president John Samuelsen said the union has received inquiries from multiple congressional members across the country about the possible safety and security risks of offshoring passenger aircraft maintenance work.

“The relentless and potentially reckless profiteering of the industry is being exposed as more and more people realize what’s happening,” Samuelsen said.

The outsourcing of maintenance positions to foreign countries, particularly in South America, is a sticking point in stalled negotiations over a new contract for American mechanics. It was a major factor behind the work slowdown the unions waged during the first half of the year that contributed to a spike in delays and cancellation for American. 

On Aug. 13, a federal judge from the Northern District of Texas issued a permanent injunction declaring the slowdown illegal under the Railway Labor Act and ordering the mechanics to return to normal work patterns immediately.

Ben Goldstein, ben.goldstein@aviationweek.com