APFA learned of AA’s rejecting our early-out proposal as most of you did via a late in the day update on the company’s restructuring related website. When last we met with the company, although not embracing the proposal with resounding joy, there was not an official dismissal.
As has been the case for the past four years, APFA remains committed to reaching an agreement that considers all the Flight Attendants have sacrificed since 2003. At the same time it is very much aware that certain difficult steps must be taken to ensure that AA successfully reorganizes.
By rejecting APFA’s early out proposal American has turned its back on similar plans it has embraced in the past as well as the early out plans recently endorsed by other airlines, which obviously believe in their economic efficacy. With this rejection, AA appears intent on forcing 2300 Flight Attendants out of their jobs and onto the street. Instead, it should find a way where the same number of Flight Attendants could leave or retire voluntarily if given an appropriate financial incentive.
Of course there’s an up front cost, but the savings it provides over the contract’s term should be very attractive to a forward-thinking management team. And the up front cost is minuscule compared to how much AMR is paying lawyers and financial advisers to find creative ways to exploit our membership.
We will continue to press the company on the early out. We have also presented the proposal in detail to the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee and the PBGC. APFA firmly stands by the proposal as a creative and efficient alternative to any head-count reductions while providing long-term savings for the company, and allowing Flight Attendants who have devoted much of their lives and sacrificed so much already to leave with dignity.
Negotiations will resume on Wednesday February 29, 2012.