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American Eagle Employees Protest Labor Cost Cuts

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – American Eagle flight attendants protested outside of Terminal B at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Tuesday.

The group was picketing the regional carrier’s desire to slash tens of millions of dollars off labor costs.

“Right now what they’re asking for is not fair and equitable,” said Robert Barrow of American Eagle’s Association of Flight Attendants. “Its a race to the bottom of the barrel is what it is.”

American Eagle employee’s say what their employer is asking of them will destroy the work environment they’ve spent decades building.

Eagle’s president, Dan Garton, in a letter to employees, stated the airline’s analysis shows its employees were paid far more than other airlines.

The letter read, in part, “…Eagle must achieve $75 million in annual employee labor cost savings in order to ensure we are truly competitive and able to secure our financial future.”

Those ‘savings’ would mean salary cuts and changes in work rules restricting employee hours.

“Its like I’m going back in time to the day I started in 1995,” said flight attendant Julie Lusk.

Eagle employees say they’re paid more because, unlike other regional carriers, workers there don’t move on to bigger airlines.

“Most of our flight attendants have stayed,” said flight attendant Preston Petrosin. “We have a longevity here because we have a good work rules. We’ve made this our career and our life.”

But Eagle spokesperson Bruce Hicks released a statement implying those jobs won’t exist without the cuts. “Our goal is to exit as a growing, profitable company that preserves thousands of jobs,” he stated.

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