Tweets are courtesy of @JasonWhitely from @wfaachannel8
9:12 am: The Allied Pilots Assoc. to finish its case against American Airlines canceling their contracts. Jim Eaton finishes testimony this AM.
9:12 am: Waiting for judge to begin. It’s a thinner crowd in the overflow room today. Lots of folks have left.
9:18 am: Judge is in the courtroom. Court is in session.
9:24 am: Pilots have 2 witnesses left. Jim Eaton testifying on valuations this AM. AA will argue against Chris Heppner as an expert.
9:24 am: After Heppner and whether the judge allows him to testify, the pilot’s case is complete. Flight attendants will start this afternoon.
9:29 am: Cross-examination of APA’s Jim Eaton is underway. Currently discussing pilot outsourcing to regional jets.
9:30 am: Judge Lane taking a long lunch today so he can hold another hearing via conference call. But he said we’re staying late for APFA testimony.
9:36 am: APFA (flight attendants) President Laura Glading said she expects to testify this afternoon when pilots complete their case.
9:42 am: The unions case will finish by next Wednesday, May 23, judge said. TWU to present Friday or Monday. Next wk is most likely.
9:44 am: Rebuttals by American Airlines and its three unions will now happen on May 25 and then on May 29. Case is going slower than expected.
10:20 am: I did not know Flight Attendants generally not paid to board, deplane passengers, stow luggage, and help before departure, deplaning.
10:31 am: Cross-examination of APA’s Jim Eaton drilling down on AA wanting to fly regional jets. Mainline pilots argue it outsources their jobs.
10:33 am: AA says larger regional jets create jobs, fly add’l passengers to 5 big hubs. Regional feed today provides 10% of AA traffic, airline says.
10:45 am: Cross-examination of Jim Eaton is done. Re-direct was only a few questions. Now judge is considering what to do about Chris Heppner.
10:47 am: Pilots want to call Chris Heppner to talk about medical benefits. AA questions him as an expert.
10:49 am: Judge letting Heppner testify. Told AA to address whether it thinks he’s an expert on medical benefits in cross-examination.
11:24 am: Judge breaking until 1p central time so he can hold another hearing via conference call. Tweets will resume then.
[Break for Lunch > Stay Tuned for More this afternoon]
1:11 pm: Court back in session. Direct examination of Chris Heppner resuming.
1:56 pm: Re-direct underway on Heppner. His credibility & expertise on medical benefits attacked by AA is being built up again by pilots.
2:04 pm: Judge Sean Lane is impressive. He listens to all the testimony and sometimes follows up atty ? w/ his own questions. No jury. He’s it.
2:09 pm: Testimony from Chris Heppner is complete. Judge to now hear from each side whether his testimony can be considered as an “expert.”
2:12 pm: AA atty on Heppner: “He just knows what his computer tells him.” Airline said pilot’s expert doesn’t know details of what he testified.
2:18 pm: Judge on Heppner: “Is he an expert to talk about the utilization rates to the value of the [retiree medical benefits] plan design?”
2:21 pm: Judge on Heppner: “He doesn’t appear to take ownership of that anaylsis and that’s what troubles me.”
2:22 pm: Judge on Heppner: “He’s not able to put intellectual heft behind it which discounts his opinion.”
2:24 pm: “There are some weakenesses with that particular bit of testimony,” Judge Lane said on Heppner. Still, testimony is allowed in as evidence.
2:28 pm: Attorneys are adding exhibits and cleaning up a few things from pilots case. Flight attendants case to begin momentarily.
2:28 pm: Pilots case has taken two and a half days.
2:33 pm: “I have a lot of paper,” judge told attys. “I do have a blizzard of details. Judge asked attys to summarize & distill written arguments.
2:40 pm: We’re in a brief break – flight attendants about to start arguments. APFA President Laura Glading testifying first.
2:49 pm: AA UNION JOBS AT STAKE: 4,600 – TWU, 2,300 – Flight attendants, 400 – Pilots.
2:59 pm: AA JOB LOSSES: 12,800 union and non-union jobs to be eliminated as AA reorganizes. Most are union positions. That’s why they’re in court.
3:05 pm: AA and flight attendants say they can get APFA Pres Laura Glading on & off the stand by 5p today.
3:11 pm: Flight attendants beginning their opening statements.
3:12 pm:Flight attendants told me this morning the union has a live feed of testimony, too. For more on FAs, follow @APFAunity, too.
3:18 pm: Glading to testify about AA’s demand of $230M in concessions & how she believes fellow flight attendants will receive that.
3:19 pm: “What is on trial here is the [AA] proposal,” APFA atty Robert Clayman said. AA is asking flight attendants for $230M in cuts annually.
3:20 pm: “If AA’s cuts are imposed,” APFA atty said, flight attendants would make 30% below competitive rates.
3:21 pm: Attorney for flight attendants said AA’s proposed cuts on labor: “It far outstrips any other stakeholders sacrifice.”
3:25 pm: “If the company’s plan doesn’t work … obviously alternatives have to be considered,” said Robert Clayman, attorney for AA flight attendants.
3:28 pm: APFA said if AA is exploring a merger then its current standalone business plan is nothing more than a placeholder.
3:33 pm: APFA atty: AA doesn’t have the luxury of time. There’s an urgency it now must confront. Only cure is consolidation.
3:35 pm: APFA opening statements complete. Laura Glading called to the stand now.’
3:41 pm: LAYOFFS: 5,500 AA jobs already gone in bankruptcy. 2,900 TWU jobs eliminated w/ vote Tues. 2,600 more non-union jobs to be phased out, too.
4:02 pm: APFA’s Laura Glading said the last time @AmericanAir hired a flight attendant was 2000.
4:04 pm: Glading said she agreed to deep cuts in 2003 bc the company needed it and believed in AA’s business plan then. Not now.
4:04 pm: Glading said AA is asking for $230M in cuts from flight attendants. “It’s almost putting a gun in your hand and saying shoot me,” she said.
4:07 pm: Glading on AA’s proposal to cut $230M annually for next 6 yrs.: “It would be physically and financial impossible to get to that number.”
4:08 pm: Glading on AA’s reorganization plan: “You always want things to be successful. To work out. But I don’t believe this can.”
4:16 pm: Direct examination of Laura Glading is complete. AA beginning cross-examination right now.
4:33 pm: Like it did to pilots, AA pointed out that the flight attendants agreement with @USAirways is essentially just an agreement to agree.
4:38 pm: Laura Glading is done. Judge taking a two-minute break.. “so don’t wander too far,” he said
4:50 pm: American’s attorney said flight attendants dismissed the airline’s proposal before the entire plan was ever released.
4:51 pm: AA proposing $230M annually in cuts to flight attendants. @USAirways proposing $153M in cuts to them.
5:07 pm: Had to step out to record a report for our 6p news in DFW. Flight attendants lead negotiator, Anne Loew, is on the stand now.
5:09 pm: Loew said AA’s cuts over a 6yr period were beyond palatable. Direct is done. AA is beginning cross-examination now.
5:35 pm: Flight attendants refuse to eliminate premium pay for serving meals on domestic flights. FAs still set up carts, serve snacks, Loew said.
5:36 pm: Judge Lane said “this case isn’t going to be decided on snacks.” Urged attys to stick to salient points.
5:37 pm: Anne Loew is done. Two witnesses of the five flight attendants plan to call are finished.
5:43 pm: Flight attendants attorneys say they will finish their case on Friday. TWU to begin then. It plans to call 3 witnesses. TWU done by Mon/Tue.
5:44 pm: Rebuttals to begin next Tuesday.
5:47 pm: Court is adjourned until 9:30a Central time Thursday. “This has become a marathon, not a sprint,” Judge Lane said.
[Thursday 05/17/2012 Transcript of tweets via @JasonWhitely Will be posted in a new blogpost. For previous transcripts of this hearing follow our Blog and go to our USAir/AA Merger category under “Of Interest”