For the unions, the US Airways offer may not be as good as it looks. Continuing to demand uncompetitive pay and benefit packages will perpetuate the problems that landed American in bankruptcy in the first place. And their haste to engage with US Airways could ensure that the problems currently plaguing American Airlines will spread to a large segment of the industry.
Nobody likes bankruptcy, but when a company finds itself there, the best solution is a clean bankruptcy that sheds liabilities and allows the reorganized company to emerge on sound footing. For American, that must include cutting labor costs. Only then would it make sense for American to consider merger options.
Erik Telford is vice president at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing non-profit reporters and citizen information activists at the state and local levels with the training, expertise, and technical support necessary to pursue journalistic endeavors.