American Airlines officials met yesterday with the head of three major employee unions to discuss the future of the company and its Chapter 11 restructuring plans. The stakes ran high as many watched and waited, wondering exactly what went on behind closed doors in the discussion of the airline bankruptcy.
Big Decisions Hit Home
AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, had tough choices to make as the company moves forward with efforts to reduce debts and regain some profitability in a struggling market. The union heads met tough opposition as they fought hard for the rights and benefits of thousands of American’s employees. However, the proposed plan sheds dim light on a bleak future for many employees.
As of yesterday’s meeting the overall plan is to implement another round of job cuts, this time to nearly 13,000 employees. AMR will be cutting 4,600 mechanic jobs and 4,200 airline fleet positions. Flight crew will be subject to a reduction of 2,300 flight attendants and 400 pilots. Only 1,400 management and support staff positions are being eliminated, sparking further controversy as to why the job cuts and outsourcing positions are being made among the daily operations staff rather than desk positions.
American also announced its plans to close an aircraft maintenance base at the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas. This maintenance base is home to nearly 2,000 employees who will also be without a job in just a few short weeks. Major cuts to employee pension and benefit funds were also made. The proposed bankruptcy plan includes the elimination of four of its pension plans and all medical benefits. However, not all hope is lost as the pension and medical plan cuts still require approval from the federal bankruptcy court.