Deal Struck to Minimize AA Layoffs

By Scott Friedman
|  Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009  |  Updated 12:30 PM CDT
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Deal Struck to Minimize AA Layoffs

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American Airlines has reached a deal to curb the number of flight attendants laid off this fall.

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American Airlines will layoff 228 flight attendants in October, the company announced Tuesday.

American had warned flight attendants that more than 1,200 could be furloughed as the airline cuts back on flights this fall.  But the airline was able to reduce the number of involuntary job reductions. 

"We worked many hard hours to find as many ways possible to save the jobs of our members," said Laura Glading, APFA President. "What was going to be 1,200 jobs lost has been limited to 228.  While it breaks my heart to see any of our flight attendants put on the street, even saving one job was well worth the effort and time.  You can be sure we will not rest until all furloughed American Airlines flight attendants are back to work."

To try to reduce the number of job cuts, the company offered voluntary leaves of absence. The union that represents the flight attendants also worked with the company to find other ways to minimize the impact.

Under a deal reached between the airline and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, about 228 flight attendants will be be furloughed while another 244 will be forced to take a two-month long involuntary, temporary leave of absence beginning in October.  The remaining 449flight attendants took the company's voluntary leave options.

"This is what can be accomplished when labor and management make a collaborative effort to find solutions to benefit the flight attendants," Glading said. "We hope to continue this collaboration in our ongoing contract negotiations and get an agreement that recognizes the sacrifices made by the flight attendants."

"Working closely with APFA, we saved the majority of the jobs while balancing operational costs, a critical need for the company that benefits everyone in this extremely difficult economic environment", said American spokesperson Missy Latham in a statement.

No DFW-based flight attendants lost jobs. The cuts were mostly in New York, Boston, Washington DC and Chicago.

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