American Airlines Sends Layoff Warnings to Thousands

American Airlines layoffs

By Karen Jacobs

American Airlines said Tuesday that it has notified more than 11,000 workers that they could lose their jobs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, and said it was cutting flights by 1 to 2 percent for the rest of September and October.

The U.S. carrier expects fewer than 40 percent of those it sent notices to, or 4,400 people, will actually be laid off in November and December, spokesman Bruce Hicks said. The notices were required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employees to be informed 60 days before major layoffs or plant closures.

"The notices will look worse than the actual layoffs," said Jamie Horwitz, a spokesman for the Transport Workers Union, which represents workers that received WARN Act notices.

Horwitz said about 800 employees had agreed to leave American voluntarily, a move that will further reduce the number of expected layoffs.

According to a letter sent by American to the Transport Workers Union, notices of the potential layoff were sent to: more than 3,000 workers in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, where American is based; about 3,000 people in Tulsa, Okla.; just over 1,200 in Miami; nearly 1,000 in New York; about 900 in Chicago; and lesser numbers in other U.S. cities.

In February, American outlined plans to cut as many as 14,000 jobs as it looks to streamline in bankruptcy.

American Airlines, the third-largest U.S. air carrier, filed for Chapter 11 protection in November, citing a need to decrease labor costs. The company has signed nondisclosure agreements with carriers including U.S. Airways Group as it evaluates a potential merger.

U.S. Airways won the backing of unions that represent American ramp workers, pilots and flight attendants earlier this year by promising to preserve thousands of jobs should a merger with American occur.

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Rise In Cancellations

American's flight cuts for September and October were set partly due to an increase in pilot sick days and greater maintenance reports by flight crews led to cancellations and delays, Hicks said. American operates about 1,700 flights a day.

Last week, the unit of AMR Corp. began implementing cost cuts for its unionized pilots after gaining bankruptcy court approval to abandon its collective bargaining agreement with the Allied Pilots Association.

According to data from tracking service, American Airlines in recent days has canceled more flights than other major U.S. airlines.

On Monday, for example, American canceled about 2.1 percent of its scheduled flights, or about 73, compared with an average of 0.4 percent for other major U.S. airlines that day, FlightAware said.

Mark Duell, vice president of operations at FlightAware, said cancellations at American have been well above the rest of the U.S. airline industry for the past two weeks.

Pilot union spokesman Gregg Overman said Tuesday that sick rates for American pilots have not deviated from normal historical rates, based on the union's tracking. He said there have been more mechanical delays.

The pilots are the only major work group at American that have not agreed on contract concessions since the airline filed for bankruptcy in November last year.

In a message on Tuesday, union president Keith Wilson said pilots were "angry" since American began imposing new work terms that cut their compensation and benefits.

The pilots union is conducting a strike vote through Oct. 3, but has previously said it will not walk out unless it is legal to do so.

AMR Expects About 4,400 Job Cuts, Warns 11,000

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(continued) You have not even considered the lack of assistance and lack your personnel’s knowledge, and/or your personnel’s willingness to assist and relay information of rules and “correct” navigation, or to assist in the ample confusion and unclearness of making a simple change. Instead, it appears it is easier to penalize the employee in the form of reversing medical bill payments, months after they have been paid, complete with the lack of any explanation from yourself regarding the matter.
So I am gathering that you have the “if we treat the other employees like this, we can’t throw you a line either” kind of mentality, making your cash cow of ill-gotten funding a beckoning for a lawsuit.
This being said, It is satisfying for me to see that whether or not I win in court, that you will still be spending close to the same amount of money in court costs, efforts, and fees, similar to the amount of fees that you reversed on my medical bills, for money that Bankrupt American Eagle Airlines obviously doesn’t have, so please send me the paperwork pronto so we can proceed in yet even more public scrutiny regarding your ill dealings with employees.

July 09 2013 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Oh how convenient ! I am a past employee of American Airlines(14 years) who just happened to write this letter today to miss-management. Happily saving a stamp, here it is:
Per your letter concerning the denial of reimbursement for your reversal of payments to my doctors visits, you stated that I am entitled copies of all relevant documents, records, and all other information “provided by HR Services” concerning the EBAC’s decision to deny all of my requests.
I am here by requesting all of the above stated documents concerning my case, without any exclusion.
The intensions of my waiting until 6/29 to cancel my American Eagle Insurance were quite clear. I waited until I was covered by my husband’s policy. If there was a problem with your understanding that I wanted to cancel my insurance and be on my husband’s insurance, then I certainly should have been notified.
There may have been a lack of understanding on my part concerning your confusing radio dial button method of advising you that I got married, lack of your personnel’s help in the matter, but it is very clear that instead of helping me achieve what I was trying to accomplish (which was plain and simple), you saw it as an opportunity to take advantage of me financially after leaving this employment.
You had already paid my doctors visits prior to me switching over to my husband’s policy, and when I left American Eagle you reversed all of the charges.
I do not see anything forthright about this action, no matter how you try to twist it or attempt to rationalize it.
I am proceeding with civil action, as it is a matter of principle regarding your bad integrity.
Although you say you are “sympathetic to my situation,” ultimately it is your responsibility to have management assist the employee in reaching his/her goals in processing a life event, (to which no one could assist or for that matter or even had a clue) and it is also ultimately your responsibility to have your personnel trained and available to assist in the matter, and it is also ultimately your responsibility to have a clear and concise enough navigation system to reach that attempted goal.
If there was a problem, it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to correct the problem, or speak with the employee to rectify the situation before you make such DRASTIC moves as reversing past payments with no explanation… seeing that an employee would only come to the conclusion that this was a move for corporate financial gain to a bankrupt company that is so financially in dire straits that they would stoop so low as to act out the above and then attempt to justify the actions.
You also stated (Pg 4) that “other employees who have requested permission to make similar changes in their coverage selections have not been allowed to do so.” (Making it obvious that there is a problem with your “system” across the board with the employees)

July 09 2013 at 2:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Have no fear everyone. Good Ole Mittens is gonna come riding into town, on his trusty white steed. And with one fell swoosh from his mighty pen, he will get them, and the rest of America back to work, & prosperity...

LMAO, I almost made it through that garbage without laughing. LMAO

September 20 2012 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i say screw the pilots union..if it is bankrupt and the judge has moved and dismissed the collective bargaining agreements, which means they are working without a, seeing as they are the only union to not give consessions to help not only keep thier jobs and the airline afloat the board members should just hold a vote, send it to the unions that did give some things back and let all of them vote for a merger.the pilots should really get over themselves..they need to remember that in this crap economy and the shrinking number of airlines they are not the commodity they used to be under ronald reagan and right up to bill clinton when de-regulation and everone starting an airline like all of the small market carriers were growing in leaps and bounds...there were not enough pilots and they got all of what they they became a they are a dime a dozen..remember all of the pilots who can replace you that are out of work from other airlines that merged and could not keep them..the pilots need to get a grip...and yes..i am a union member who's company had gone the same route..bankrupt..i am still working..i have health coverage and i had to give up some salary and all of my sick time, most of my personal time and 1 of 2 weeks vacation. i am still working..get the point?.i am a butcher and no longer a commodity suck it up and keep working..gotta give to keep getting..those who have families should really look at the big picture and see the ugly truth..

September 20 2012 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To bad their customer service is so terrible. What used to be a good airline has slid into that dark clouded area of greed. They trained their employees how to dodge any wrongdoing by A.A., and now in order to keep a profit margin they are going to pass off the loss to their employees with no thought to unemployment statistics. They passed off the cost of flying to the consumer by charging for baggage, food, unreasonable baggage weight limits, food, extra cost changing tickets for emergencies, most tickets are nonrefundable, ect...a while back. I hope they can sleep at night, so the nightmares will keep them in terror.

September 20 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Another company laying off people for cost containment. Boy, I didn't see that one coming! :-(

September 20 2012 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is no surprise for between the fuel and mostly due to the demands of the Unions. Doesn't help on their customer service issues are severe and rampant too. There just isn't anything going for them and this has been coming for a long time.

September 20 2012 at 2:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bolomark3's comment

Not the problem, my bags, 2 suitcases, 2 golf bags, cost me more than the flight

September 20 2012 at 2:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

they kept the md 80's to long their fuel cost are much higher than other airlines because they continue to fly this airplane.

September 19 2012 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More lazy people without jobs for everyone to gripe at. Right? I guess it just went to 48%

September 19 2012 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

AA is a junk airline They treat their employees like like dirt, and run old old poorly kept planes. I'm sure their upper management rewards themselves with mega bonuses for making a mess of AA

September 19 2012 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to userabc21's comment

Upper management built that

September 19 2012 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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