AMR could let flight attendants revote

By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

American Airlines Inc. may give its flight attendants another chance to ratify their concession agreement if they are the only union of three to reject the deal Tuesday morning, according to a source close to the company.

The Fort Worth-based airline has said it will file for bankruptcy if any of three major unions reject tentative agreements for their share of $1.62 billion in annual concessions.

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That ultimatum now appears to have a caveat.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, considered by some labor experts to be the most likely to reject its deal later this morning, asked Monday night for an extension from the company to allow for ballot problems to be ironed out. Some flight attendants have not received balloting instructions, according to an update on the APFA Web site.

The flight attendants'' voting has differed from that of the pilots or ground workers. They began voting almost immediately after the agreement was reached March 31, and many flight attendants voted before they considered the terms of the deal or the consequences of bankruptcy, according to flight attendant union officials who asked their members.

Unlike the other labor groups, the flight attendants did not allow vote changes, although the APFA board of directors considered doing that last week.

American could allow the flight attendants the chance to vote again, which would stall bankruptcy for at least another few days.

American''s auditor, Ernst & Young, warned investors Tuesday that American may be unable to continue as a “going concernâ€￾ because of cash flow problems.