Employees Rally In Support Of American, U.S. Airways Merger

Workers for American Airlines and U.S. Airways rallied in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to urge the Justice Department to speed up approval of the pending merger. The department is pushing to block the deal on the grounds that it would hurt travelers by reducing competition, and increasing airfare.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while markets rallied on news of the Fed's decision, airline employees rally to support a planned merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Here's their message to the Department of Justice.

AMERICAN AIRLINE AND U.S. AIRWAYS EMPLOYEES: (Chanting) DOJ, say OK. DOJ, say OK. DOJ, say OK.

MONTAGNE: The pilots, flight attendants and other employees from the two carriers converged on Capitol Hill. They asked members of Congress to push the Justice Department to drop its anti-trust suit against the merger.

KAZUMI CHAPA: I've been flying for this company for almost 25 years, and I want to remain with this company. I'm very loyal to American Airlines, and I want us to survive. And I believe in this global economy that this is the best way for us to survive.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's Kazumi Chapa, an American Airlines flight attendant and one of 350 employees flown in by the two companies.

CHAPA: These are people. We are real people with families and kids to put through college, and husbands and wives. And we're all coming together, all union groups are coming together, because we support this merger.

MONTAGNE: The new combined airline would be the biggest in the world. The Justice Department wants to block the deal on the grounds it would hurt travelers by reducing competition, and increasing fares. The case goes to court in November.

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