Fri, Mar 13, 2009
Not Enough Have Taken Early Retirement, Carrier Says
American Airlines will make good on earlier threats of more
layoffs. The flight attendants union for the Fort Worth, TX-based
airline confirmed this week 323 FAs will be handed their walking
papers after April 1, after fewer workers than expected opted to
voluntarily leave their jobs.
Bloomberg reports the Association of Professional Flight
Attendants broke the news to its members in a message posted
Wednesday on its website. "Our heart goes out to our members who
will soon be without income, active coverage for health benefits
and the career they love," APFA President Laura Glading wrote.
To date, American has shed roughly 6,800 jobs since July 2008,
in line with deep cuts in capacity. Initially, many workers
accepted offers to leave the airline voluntarily, in exchange for
severance packages and a chance to start over in another field...
but as the economy has tanked, more senior employees are holding
onto their jobs for fear the grass is even drier on the other side
of the fence.
As ANN reported, American announced in late
February it would need to shed as many as 410 junior flight
attendant positions in April. FAs with at least five years of
seniority may opt to accept extended travel benefits... in exchange
for giving up any chance of being recalled.
"We recognize this is a challenging time, a difficult decision
the company has to make, and this is just one option to help with
that transition," said American spokeswoman Missy Latham.
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