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American: Time For Labor Deals Dwindling

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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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