This is APFA President Laura Glading with a Special HotLine update for June 11, 2009.
In an address to Wall Street financiers today, June 11, AMR Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey outlined further capacity cuts at American Airlines in response to the overall national and global economic conditions and the resulting, persistent decline in airline passenger traffic.
We have long awaited details of AA’s future scheduling plans in an effort to provide our members the information they need to prepare for any eventuality in what has become a very volatile market – a chase by airlines for dwindling business amidst a real cutback by the traveling public.
Other airlines have begun announcing cuts and American is only the latest. Though the overall additional schedule reduction is modest, it is nonetheless coupled with a corresponding and discouraging announcement of more overages in our Flight Attendant manning.
Accordingly, the company has just today delivered to APFA a WARN letter advising of up to 1,200 possible furloughs to be effective October 1, 2009.
This is clearly disappointing news for our work force, most especially so for those who may be directly affected through job loss.
Our Flight Attendant workforce has just seen one recent furlough of over 320 members, despite repeated efforts to mitigate the cuts through voluntary means.
It is frankly unclear how many of the 1,200 potential furloughs can be avoided in this round. Though this number may seem larger than the announced capacity cuts would warrant, there are a number of factors to keep in mind:
One: there are existing overages currently offset by leaves. A significant number of Flight Attendants will be returning to the line this summer, adding to the current manning total;
Two: we have been seeing lower attrition rates than planned; and
Three: members have shown less of an appetite for the latest proffered and bid leave offerings.
Your Leadership has pressed and will continue to press the company to provide maximum opportunity to those members who wish to reduce their flying – through leaves, partnerships or retirement – in order to preserve the jobs of as many members as possible. We have achieved special incentives in the past and will continue to seek creative ways to confront excess manning.
Meantime, if you frequently drop your entire schedule or selected trips, or if you are otherwise in a position to either reduce your flying through leaves or partnerships – even through retirement – we encourage you to inform yourself of the options and, in electing one, save a job of a fellow member in this difficult time.
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