Earlier today, APFA presented a proposal to the company that provides a blueprint for moving our aging workforce into retirement as a way to save money and mitigate the company’s proposed layoffs. Our proposal would allow Flight Attendants to retire early with a secure plan including full pensions and medical coverage before they become eligible for Medicare.
“This proposal is a win-win. It is forward thinking, provides a dignified retirement strategy for Flight Attendants that have given so much to this airline, and saves the company money. I hope Tom Horton has the foresight to acknowledge that and act on it,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “I am calling on management to put this package to our members immediately, and revise their term sheet factoring in these new savings.”
APFA Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2012
Jeff Pharr (954) 558-4155
Patrick Hancock (817) 467-0737
Flight Attendants Present Cost-Savings Proposal
Proposed Early-Out Package Would Help AMR Emerge with Efficient Workforce
FORT WORTH (2/15/12) – The Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union presented separate plans to American Airlines management today that provide a blueprint for moving the company’s aging workforce into retirement as a way to save money and mitigate the company’s proposed layoffs. On February 1, 2012, AMR management announced that it planned to reduce the company’s workforce by 13,000, including 2,300 flight attendants. The two unions’ proposals represent an effort to engage in good-faith negotiations with management in what has thus far been a contentious bankruptcy.
Early-out packages are a fair and decent way to approach the problem of headcount reduction. Both unions are insisting that these early-out options be put to their members immediately. That way, the true needs of the company can be reassessed based on how many employees subscribe to the buyout and how much cost-savings is realized.
The proposals would allow employees to retire early with a secure plan including full pensions and medical coverage before they become eligible for Medicare. Among the most controversial of management’s terms were the termination of employee pension plans and retiree medical coverage.
According to the APFA’s plan, vetted by a team of legal and financial professionals, as many as 3,000 members could be expected to participate, which can generate savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the six-year term of the contract. A vast majority of American Airlines’ flight attendants ñ approximately 80 percent are at the absolute top of the pay scale. Under the company’s proposal, 2,300 of these employees would be furloughed, meaning they would be the first to be called up again, at the height of their contractual salaries, when the company will require new hires. Under the APFA’s plan the company could immediately begin hiring as many as 500 new flight attendants, providing cost-savings and efficiency.
“This proposal is a win-win. It is forward thinking, provides a dignified retirement strategy for flight attendants that have given so much to this airline, and saves the company money. I hope Tom Horton has the foresight to acknowledge that and act on it,” said Laura Glading, APFA President. “I am calling on management to put this package to our members immediately, and revise their term sheet factoring in these new savings.”
I am extremely pleased to report that yesterday’s event was a tremendous success. By our estimation, well over 500 Flight Attendants, Ground Crew, Baggage Handlers, and some Pilots and Passengers joined the protest at DFW.
Our message was loud and clear: the employees of American Airlines have worked too hard for too long to simply lay down now. We are still standing and we are not going to go quietly. Tom Horton has done his best to humiliate and degrade us, but yesterday’s display of solidarity has him second-guessing his heavy-handed strategy.
I would like to thank all of the APFA members and our brothers and sisters at TWU, AFA, CWA, AFL-CIO, UFCW and UAW who took the time to join in and make a statement today. My special thanks to the three very motivated Flight Attendants who organized this event and played such a key role in bringing it to fruition.
Thank you to all who participated and for the many messages of support from those unable to attend.
Pictures were posted on our Facebook page throughout the day yesterday and will be posted on APFA.org as soon as possible.