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October 04, 2012

2,800+ Elect Negotiated Early Out/Retirement Option, Adding to 3,100+ Jobs Saved during TWU Bargaining and more jobs saved by adjusted work assignments

Dallas – Strategic bargaining by the Transport Workers Union has reduced the number of anticipated layoffs at American Airlines by eighty percent, the union said today.

Just over 2,800 TWU-represented workers at American Airlines have elected an “early out”/retirement option, negotiated earlier this year by union workers and management during the bankruptcy reorganization of the airline’s parent company, AMR.

This is in addition to more than 3,100 jobs saved during union negotiations, when TWU bargainers convinced the company to modify their demands for job cuts, and additional positions saved by negotiated adjustments to work assignments.

AMR executives demanded 8,650 job cuts in their original term sheet in March of 2012. This has now been reduced to an anticipated total of 1,800 layoffs of TWU members, which includes less than 500 employees in the Mechanic and Related (M&R) work group, less than 100 stock clerks, and 1,200 in the Fleet Service work group. In the Mechanic and Related work group, the number of furloughs was further limited by a downward adjustment in restructuring furloughs in Tulsa.

“Every single layoff means pain for our members and their families, and nobody is happy with how this company has manipulated the bankruptcy process,” said TWU International President James C. Little. “We continue to believe there are much better ways to restructure this business than to lay off workers and cut back service. But the fact is we reduced by eighty percent the number of job cuts AMR management originally demanded.”

“That’s what workers can accomplish when we stand united, keep our options open, and work together on an aggressive plan to protect our members. There’s a reason workers all over this country are standing up for the right to collective bargaining. It makes a real difference in the lives of working men and women.”

Under terms of the negotiated agreement between TWU and AMR, union-represented workers could elect the “early out”/retirement option up until Sept. 25th, then had a five-day period, ending on September 30th, during which they could withdraw their names. Following a reconciliation of company records, the final tally is available today.

In the M&R and Stores work groups, 1,564 workers elected the “early out”/retirement option. In the Fleet Service work groups, 1,250 elected this option, for a total of 2,814 in all work groups. The retirements will reduce the need for layoffs at American by a corresponding number of positions.

Since AMR entered bankruptcy reorganization in November of 2011 all seven TWU work groups have ratified new labor agreements with the company.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Little. “We’re going to continue to fight for every job and for every protection our members deserve, working towards a viable plan that can help this airline succeed in the marketplace.”