American Airlines warns about layoffs in Cary, across company

Posted September 18, 2012
Updated September 19, 2012

— American Airlines is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees although a spokesman says the company expects job losses to be closer to 4,400.

The notices went out to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as American goes through a bankruptcy restructuring.

American filed a notice with the North Carolina Department of Commerce stating that more than 70 positions at its reservations center in Cary will be eliminated.

Some 72 positions could be cut as of Nov. 16, the notice said.

American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said Tuesday that fewer than 40 percent of those getting notices will lose their jobs. Hicks said federal law requires the company to notify anyone whose position could change including those who could get "bumped" by more-senior employees whose jobs are eliminated or outsourced.

American said in February that it planned to cut 14,000 jobs, including 13,000 held by union workers. But the number was reduced as American negotiated new labor contracts and gave bonuses to flight attendants and ground workers who quit.

Separately the leader of the pilots' union blasted the company, saying it is "paying lip service" to negotiating a contract while using the bankruptcy process to wring punitive cost-cutting concessions from pilots.

Eight other labor groups approved long-term contracts that will help AMR cut annual labor spending by about $1 billion. Pilots, however, voted overwhelmingly against the company's last contract offer, and a federal bankruptcy judge allowed American to impose new pay and working rules on pilots.

The acting president of the Allied Pilots Association, Keith Wilson, said in a message to members that he would meet this week with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other top officials in the Obama administration and Congress. The union has asked federal officials to approve steps that could eventually lead to a strike, but that permission hasn't been granted.

Still, pilots are holding a strike-authorization vote. In the meantime, American has seen a spike in flight cancelations partly because pilots are calling in sick more often than usual, Hicks said.

American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • LuvLivingInCary Sep 24, 2012

    70k for baggage handlers with barely a high school education. since when do ged workers get to make more than college educated. examples of what is wrong with this company.

  • westernwake1 Sep 20, 2012

    A painful situation at American Airlines. The company and its service to customers has been sinking for many years. 20 years ago American was my preferred carrier to fly on, during recent years I will not even consider flying on them.... and yes, I travel every week & have the top status on multiple airlines.

  • heisenberg Sep 18, 2012

    No way, this can't be happening - Obama said the private sector was doing just fine. Oh yeah, did you see the 1200 being layed off by Alpha Natural Resources. - layed off 6 months ago and still no job.

  • signify6644 Sep 18, 2012

    The Obama Economy: Had Enough?