Category Archives: Section 1113 Issues

Hostess Court Authorizes Rejection of Bakers’ Union Collective Bargaining Agreements

Last month the drama surrounding Hostess’s efforts to reject various collective bargaining agreements drew to a close (pending appeal). Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain (in an unpublished decision) authorized Hostess to reject its existing CBAs with affiliates of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Workers International Union, and modify the terms of its expired CBAs with the Bakers’ Union on an interim basis. The Bakers Union was the last of Hostess’s major unions holding out and refusing to accept modifications to its CBAs. See Transcript of Hearing, In re Hostess Brands, Inc., No. 12-22052 (RDD) (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Oct 3, 2012). This decision resolves an open question that arose in May when Judge Drain held that debtors could not reject expired CBAs on a final basis pursuant to section 1113(c) of the Bankruptcy Code but might be allowed to reject such CBAs on an interim basis pursuant to section 1113(e). Cadwalader reviewed the hearing transcript to analyze the opinion. Continue reading

AMR Update: Judge Authorizes American Airlines to Reject Pilots’ CBA

On September 4, 2012, Judge Sean H. Lane granted American’s renewed motion to reject its CBA with the Allied Pilots Association. As discussed HERE, on August 15, the court denied American’s original motion to reject the CBA on narrow grounds, but allowed American to submit a renewed motion that remedied the codesharing and furlough defects identified by the court. American submitted a revised proposal to the APA the following day and renewed its motion on August 17. Notably, the APA did not argue that American’s modifications to the codesharing and furlough provisions were not necessary. Instead, the APA argued that new information regarding (i) a potential American-US Airways merger, (ii) American’s labor costs as compared to the rest of the airline industry, and (iii) American’s decision to accept a reduced amount of labor savings from its non-pilot employees made American’s proposed changes to the CBA unnecessary to its reorganization. Continue reading

Court Denies American Airlines’ Motion to Reject CBAs; Provides Roadmap to Future Rejection

On August, 15, 2012, Bankruptcy Judge Sean H. Lane of the Southern District of New York denied American’s motion to reject its collective bargaining agreement with the Allied Pilots Association (“APA”) on narrow grounds. The Court held that American had not demonstrated that its proposals to eliminate contractual restrictions on pilot furloughs and enter into essentially unlimited codesharing arrangements were necessary to its reorganization. However, the court rejected the vast majority of the APA’s broader arguments, found that the CBA was “a burden that American is unable to maintain” and that American had met the standards for rejecting a CBA under section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code. Specifically, the court held that (i) American could reject the CBA even though a potential merger between American and US Airways may have resulted in fewer sacrifices by the APA; (ii) American’s business plan was a sufficient basis to reject the CBA; (iii) American’s proposal was fair and equitable; and (iv) American negotiated in good faith. Accordingly, the court denied American’s motion without prejudice to remedying the furlough and codesharing shortcomings.
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