Unionized American Airlines, US Airways workers rally for merger
WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Union members who work for American Airlines and US Airways Group rallied on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, urging the U.S. Justice Department to drop its opposition to a planned merger between the two airlines.
The rally by pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers and others also attracted a handful of the 300 lawmakers that the union representatives are meeting with this week in hopes of building support for the deal.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Aug. 13 to stop the planned merger between US Airways and American's parent, AMR Corp. The government argues it would violate antitrust laws because it would lead to higher airfares and other fees.
A judge will hear the case without a jury in November and decide whether the deal can go forward.
Delta Air Lines acquired Northwest Airlines in 2008, United merged with Continental in 2010 and Southwest Airlines bought discount rival AirTran in 2011.
Pilots attending the rally complained about the Justice Department, with one saying that it allowed other airline mergers "without a whimper."
"Now all of a sudden they're trying to stop this," said Jim Sgueglia, 55, who said he has been flying for US Airways for 26 years.
The case at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is No. 1:13-cv-12346.