While some are out sending flowers and buying gifts for loved ones today, many American Airline employees will be taking to the picket lines outside the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. After the recent news of American Airline bankruptcy plans, many employees are speaking out about the fate of their jobs and benefit funds.
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American employees have been on pins and needles since the airline’s filing late last year. Having been ensured that job cuts and consumer cutbacks would not be part of the bankruptcy, many employees held onto a glimmer of hope. However, just a few short weeks into the filing American officials initiated several small rounds of job cuts and reductions in operations that shook the employee union.
Not even into the thick of one of the largest airline Chapter 11 cases in history and more ominous news has dedicated employees fuming. Employee unions fought last week for the pension and medical benefit programs currently afforded to employees, but the fate of such programs is on the line. Company executives proposed a plan to cut several of these benefit programs in addition to laying off another 13,000 employees. With so much of the local economy at stake in this bankruptcy case, such steep job cuts is sure to devastate local residents and neighboring cities.
The mission of today’s protest is clear: communicate the feelings and opposition of employees who have dedicated years of their lives to serving the airline. In President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Laura Glading, said in a statement, “American’s employees are the heart of this airline and have sacrificed billions in the past years to support their company. We have worked hard, have played by the rules, and we all deserve better than this.”