Daily Roundup
12:21 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

American To Make Its Case Against Union Contracts

Officials with American Airlines will try to convince a bankruptcy judge that labor agreements must be broken for the carrier to survive.

Leaders of the Fort Worth-based airline on Monday will be at a federal courthouse in New York to open what could be a two-month hearing.

Parent company AMR seeks to void its contracts with pilots, flight attendants and ground workers and impose its own terms.

The airline lost more than $10 billion in the decade leading up to its declaration of bankruptcy last November.

The airline's unions say company leaders are unfairly blaming workers instead of doing something to make American grow and bring in more revenue.

The unions have supported a potential bid by US Airways to merge with AMR.

AP

Lockheed Martin's Texas machinists vote to strike

Workers who make aircraft at Lockheed Martin have rejected the company's final contract offer and voted to go on strike.

Union leader Paul Black said members' overwhelming vote against the contract Sunday proves how "very serious" they are.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Lockheed's proposal would have eliminated a pension plan for new hires and implemented higher-cost healthcare plans.

Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout said in a statement that "we're disappointed" the union voted to strike.

Stout said Lockheed believes its offer was fair. It included annual 3-percent wage increases, a $3,000 signing bonus, an $800 annual cost-of-living lump sum and more retirement income for current employees.

The company says it will remain open.

AP

Remains found in Texas creek still unidentified

Police searching for the body of a missing 11-year-old boy say it will take several weeks before skeletal remains found in a rural creek south of Dallas are identified.

Dallas police Sgt. Brenda Nichols in the child abuse unit said Sunday that authorities are awaiting DNA test results from the Dallas County Medical Examiner that have not yet begun.

Police have said the remains discovered Saturday appear to be those of a child or small adult.

Nichols said she could not comment on whether authorities believe the bones are those of Johnathan Ramsey.

Johnathan's father and stepmother are accused of starving the Dallas boy to death. Aaron and Elizabeth Ramsey remain jailed on felony injury to a child charges, according to electronic jail records.

AP

Bond denied for Texas nurse accused in baby theft

A judge has denied bond for a nurse accused of fatally shooting a young mother in suburban Houston to kidnap the woman's newborn son.

Verna McClain did not speak at a Monday bond hearing in Conroe.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon argued the 30-year-old nurse committed a cold, calculated and premeditated murder.

Defense attorney E. Tay Bond had asked for a bond of $100,000 or less for McClain.

The shooting last week outside a pediatric center north of Houston killed 28-year-old Kala Golden. Her 3-day-old son was abducted but found safe hours later with McClain's sister.

Investigators believe McClain was desperate for a baby after suffering a miscarriage.

AP

Texas veterans sought for hundreds of AT&T jobs

A Texas agency has joined with AT&T Inc. to help match qualified military veterans to more than 600 technical jobs.

The partnership was announced Monday by the Texas Veterans Commission and Dallas-based AT&T Inc.

The jobs are part of AT&T's new U-verse integrated digital TV, high speed internet and voice service. The positions are in Austin, Corpus Christi, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Houston, Lubbock, Midland and San Antonio.

AT&T has established dozens of call centers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan so troops can call home. The company says it has donated nearly $8 million worth of prepaid calling cards to military personnel.

AP

Leppert touts business experience in Senate race

Tom Leppert concedes he's no dynamo on the stump.

The soft-spoken, former Dallas mayor doesn't deal in enough verbal firebombs to make the hearts of Texas tea party supporters flutter.

But in Texas' crowded U.S. Senate Republican primary field, Leppert says he can appeal to fiscal conservatives who don't expect candidates to blow their hair back.

His opponents include the GOP establishment choice, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, tea party darling Ted Cruz, and former football star turned EPSN personality Craig James.

Leppert is banking on his 25 years of experience running businesses, though out tea partying Cruz won't be easy.

Still, Leppert insists that if he can garner enough support during the May 29 primary to force a run-off race against Dewhurst, he'll ultimately become the GOP Senate nominee.

AP