News Column

American Airlines Announces Possible Layoffs

Sept. 18, 2012

Gregory Karp

American Airlines

AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, this week notified some 11,000 mechanics and groundworkers, including nearly 900 at O'Hare International Airport, that their jobs could be eliminated as part of the company's bankruptcy restructuring. The actual number of layoffs will be far fewer.

Of the 11,159 members of the Transport Workers Union who received notices, fewer than 40 percent -- or 4,500 -- will be laid off, said AMR spokesman Bruce Hicks. The company was required by law to issue notices to all employees who could be affected. Because of union bumping rules, which allow workers in eliminated positions to take posts of those with less seniority, many workers are potentially affected in that domino chain. That's why so many notices were issued, he said.

The effect on the 887 workers at O'Hare who received notices on Monday is difficult to say, said Jamie Horwitz, a TWU spokesman. "It's hard to know how many in Chicago will be laid off because of bumping rights," he said, adding that workers with in eliminated jobs in Chicago can go elsewhere and those in other facilities in the Midwest might take remaining jobs in Chicago. The airline has about 2,000 TWU members in Chicago, Horwitz said.

The 4,500 layoffs nationwide are far fewer than the 8,500 called for in AMR's original restructuring plan announced in February. The number was bargained down in contract negotiations between the company and the union.

Source: (c)2012 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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