American Wants To Cut 13,000 Jobs, Close Alliance Facility

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced Wednesday that it hopes to cut 13,000 jobs across the company as part of a restructuring plan that is still under development.

The breakdown of cuts is listed below.

  • Mechanics: 4,600 jobs
  • Fleet Service: 4,200 jobs
  • Flight Attendants: 2,300 jobs
  • Management & Support Staff: 1,400 jobs
  • Pilots: 400 jobs
  • Agents, Reps, Planners: TBD

AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, filed for bankruptcy protection in November of 2011.

Wednesday morning American Airlines CEO Tom Horton sent a letter to employees stating that “cost reductions will be deep” and “significant savings in employee-related costs” would be required. The letter also stated that all workgroups will have “total costs reduced by 20%, including management.” The letter said in order to achieve their goals American Airlines will have to cut yearly costs by $2 billion and increase revenue by $1 billion a year.

♦♦♦ Click here to read Horton’s entire letter ♦♦♦

In addition to the letter sent by Horton, American has a new website,, that has more details on the company restructuring.

CBSDFW.COM reported Wednesday that some American Airlines administrative offices had been closed off to most of the workforce.

While American denied the claim, a separate CBS 11 source reported that the locks had been changed on the doors that access human resources at the AA maintenance facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth.

The same source also reports that there are additional armed guards at the Alliance facility.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the agency increases “our overall surveillance of airlines anytime they are in bankruptcy to make sure maintenance and other safety related tasks are being done properly.”

Lunsford added that it was inaccurate “to say that we have people standing around watching people today.” While surveillance has increased, Lunsford said the FAA has encountered no incidents nor seen any “areas of concern.”

A 20-percent cost reduction could mean the elimination of more than 13,000 American Airlines jobs, but airline analyst Denny Kelly told KRLD NewsRadio 1080 the true number of jobs lost will be considerably higher.

“You feel so sorry for the American Airlines employees, especially the ones that are gonna lose their jobs. But you have to remember that there a tremendous amount of people whose jobs depend on American, that aren’t American employees,” Kelly said.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s pilots, is calling the airline’s plan extreme. Officials say they will now begin negotiating for a better deal, which, as it stands, maintains 400 surplus pilots.

So far, American has not said if it plans on laying off any pilots. The union says pilots would be required to work about two extra days each month. They’re still working at 1993-era pay rates, the association says, and would have their pensions terminated and replaced with a 401k.

The union says its CEO was very direct during a meeting Wednesday.

“He wasn’t going to sugarcoat it,” said association spokesman Tom Hobon. “These cuts are going to be painful. There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig and dress it up. It’s going to be a very difficult process for all the employee groups.”

Lately AMR has been at odds with the Federal Pension Insurance Agency, after American raised the possibility it would freeze or terminate the pensions that currently cover some 130,000 employees and retirees.

The federal pension insurance agency recently filed $91 million in liens against American, because the company had only paid $6.5 million of a required nearly $100 million toward its pension plans last week.

In addition to changing or ending pension plans, with the bankruptcy filing and company ‘restructuring’, many are predicting an announcement of AA job cuts, and there are reports some U.S. maintenance positions may be moved overseas.

AMR employs about 25,000 people in North Texas.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price says the impact on the region will be significant.

Price On KRLD:

Price says she had not heard any details on what the layoffs could mean for Alliance Airport, calling it ‘fluid’ situation that she has been in constant contact with American Airlines on.

Just after Price’s comments to KRLD, CBS 11 obtained a letter from AMR Senior Vice President for Human Resources Jeff Brundage to colleagues that said in part the airline would be outsourcing a portion of aircraft maintenance and would seek to close their operation at Alliance.

♦♦♦ Click here to read Brundage’s entire letter ♦♦♦

At 10 a.m. Wednesday AMR officials went into closed-door talks with representatives from the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

The group was scheduled to meet until Noon, return after lunch and resume talks until some type of tentative agreement is presented to the union reps.

In federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday AMR reported a $904 million loss in December, an amount that exceeded the first nine months of 2011 combined. American is the nation’s third-biggest airline.

AMR’s Alliance Maintenance Base has been in Fort Worth for 20 years. Long-time workers learned Wednesday that the base is on the company’s chopping block.

Mike Shults, who has worked at Alliance for 14 years, said the depth of the proposed cuts was surprising.

“I don’t believe anybody at the airport, at Alliance, really expected that many cuts,” he said.

Shults’s job repairing emergency exits will likely be outsourced, possibly overseas.

“I’m worried for all of us,” said Sherille Rivera, a flight attendant. “I would not like for any of us to lose our jobs.”

Employees said they know they have at least a few weeks of work while negotiations continue with the unions. The changes could even go to court, buying the employees even more time.

But in a year to 18 months, they’ll likely be faced with finding another job.

“We’re going to suffer from all this. A lot of guys at work are in a lot worse position than I am,” Shults said. “And I’m scared.”

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  • Tammy Jones Neely

    it’s a sad day for the WORKERS at AA who have gave everything for this compnay and now due to corporate greed ….we are the ones who will suffer!!

  • TexasBirdGirl

    Praying for these workers and their families. For AA to consider send jobs over seas is REPULSIVE!!!

  • susan

    thes numbers are smaller than i had anticipated..since they are still talking, i wonder if these are tentative….aa has not hired a lot of people these past 10 years since 9/11, so the people being laid off,would be the lowest in seniority, with the exception of any place that is is very sad for all of aa…a class action lawsuit should be filed against carty and arpey and others who are or were in management, and they should be made to repay the money they have recieved…

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  • nj bene

    Does anyone remember Braniff? This same thing happened to their employees almost 30 years ago. My dad was one of them….rank and file. Dad was heart-broken. Then they cut his pension to $300 a month after he gave over 35 years to the company. Many years later, what remained of Braniff was still paying for the condos of the big wigs.

    • susan

      yes, i do sadly..i attended a conference at the dfw airport hyatt shortly after the literal shutdown of braniff..the aircraft were all parked basically wing to wing on the tarmac (at least 50 -100) and you could see them from the airport hotel ..i hope american doesnt have to completely cease operating as did braniff and other chapter 11 carriers..yes..there is and was a lot of greed by upper level management and the board of directors of american..the unions are not totally guilt free in this however because of some excessive demands..they had to know that aa management would never give back the extra bonus and stock option money they had received..

  • Milly Gale Igo Landers

    What country is going to perform maintenance on these aircraft? No one seems to be asking! All you have to do is “google” aircraft maintenance facilities to see where this might take place. American companies have partnered with foreign governments to establish aircraft maintenance facilities. Why do we naive Americans assume that everything begins and ends in the United States of America?

  • LS

    Why don’t they eliminate those idiots at the top? They have wasted a lot of money paying their stupid selves, so why not start there?

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  • Mitchell

    I feel for the American employees, but I have to remember back to 1982 and 1989.There was another airline called Braniff International and Braniff, Inc. We were not as big as American is, but in 1982 we had 16,000 employees and in 1989 we had around 6,000. They all lost their jobs and their lives were changed, not once but twice… I don’t remember the media reporting their trouble, as much as they are reporting the problems at AA.

  • CM

    I find it ironic that you are not airing the APFA , Flight Attendants Union President’s comments you aired on the 4pm news yesterday. In fact , none of the other news stations are airing her press release. Did AA pay you off not to show this? Wouldn’t surprise me…despicable and corrupt that they are…She spoke powerfully and not wamsey pamsey . Once again, the Flight Attendants are the only work group on campus with guts. Please air this again for the non-airline world to see , it was awesome!.

  • C M

    Ironic that you are not airing APFA president, Laura Gladings comments yesterday you aired at 4pm news. Did you get bought off by AA ,not to air her comments? (Wouldn’t surprise me how corrupt AA is..)Her press release spoke the truth and was powerful!,( not wamsey pamsey like the other union presidents comments.) The NON-airline civilians in the DFW mentroplex needed this aired over and over…Once again, AA Flight Attendants are the only ones on “campus” with guts. AA Management continues to line their pockets with their fat million dollar bonuses, and could care less about it’s employess. and their families and the destruction of this airline…

  • N. Parkhouse

    It is disappointing to hear that AA is closing the Ft Worth Maintenance Facility and most of the Tulsa, Oklahoma facility and plans to “outsorce these jobs overseas.” With the number of American workers already out of work, surely we can keep these jobs in the U.S.A.

  • gary r

    If AA is in bankruptcy, who is paying for all the expensive commericials we see on tv. As A former customer of AA for years and years, I am tired of the whinning. Fell bad for many people. But I am also one who is at the age no one cares to hire, yet I have to do what ever I can do to keep afloat. Suck it up. I forgot to mention, when we fly, its Southwest, even though it’s a further drive. Besides the no baggage fee, it’s the attitude

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