American: Time For Labor Deals Dwindling

FORT WORTH (AP) — American Airlines is turning up the heat on its workers, saying it doesn’t have much time to win cost-saving concessions from labor unions.

American said Friday night it needs those deals in place in “a matter of weeks.”

AMR Corp.’s American, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, wants to cut spending by $2 billion a year, including $1.25 billion in labor costs. It wants to cut 13,000 jobs, reduce pay and benefits, and get more productivity from workers who remain.

Unions for pilots, flight attendants and ground workers have been making their own proposals to save money while criticizing the company’s plan as too harsh.

If there is no deal between labor and the company, American can ask a bankruptcy judge to impose the company’s demands.

Meanwhile, Flight attendants facing layoffs and pay cuts at American have narrowly re-elected their union president.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Friday that incumbent Laura Glading got 4,434 votes or 51 percent to beat challenger Liz Geiss, who received 4,284 votes.

Geiss had charged that Glading wasn’t an effective negotiator for flight attendants, while Glading said the union was fighting to protect as many jobs as it could.

Although Glading won a second four-year term, her vice presidential running mate lost to Geiss ally Marcus Gluth.

American filed for bankruptcy in November and wants to cut 13,000 jobs including 2,300 flight attendants.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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  • susan

    why cant these union people realize what being in bankruptcy means? they still seem to be negotiating as if this were last year! i would think the union reps know if there is not an agreement, the bankruptcy judge rules on what the contracts will say..i am wondering also how the cwa can come in and state they are negotiating for the agents because of a “pending” vote on union membership..this whole situation needs to be addressed so that the company can go on with whatever it needs to do to survive, or else change to chapter 7!!

  • J

    I feel for the retirees that are going to loose all health insurance now. I know that as an employee we prefunded into our inurance plan while we were stil working so we would have health insurnce after we retired, HOWEVER that doesn’t seem to matter. AA has our money we prefunded but are now going to cancel our health insurance as retirees. AA doesn’t really care about contracts, thy are just using this as leverage to get what they want. Don’t forget the last time they had problems after 9/11 they also claimed that union contracts were at fault for their problems. They did get a lot of concessions then, and as a reward for the hard work of the management staff, they gave themselves bonus’ as a reward. Go figure. probably will do the same thing again after all is settled now. The retirees are living on the pension that was promissed by AA but they may also have this turned over to the PBGC and the fund is already well underfunded already. But I guess AA is like Obama who cares about the senior citizens anymore.

  • susan

    J..i dont know which employee group you belonged to as not all groups prefunded…ours was non union (agents) and we did..there are some legalities involved in the prefunding issue i believe..they can give the pensions to the pension guaranty group to handle,but if they dont (so i have heard)give back at least a partial amount of the prefunded money, it is akin to “stealing”..i have read what aa wants to do is continue the medical insurance with reitrees paying a large monthly payment, equivalent to what aa would be putting in, and then the prefunded money would cover the rest…

  • Stan

    The unions know the messed up last year by not agreeing to new contracts, which forced AA into bankruptcy. So now they are dragging their feet so that they don’t have to face their members with the inevitable: pay and benefit cuts.

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