Reporting Maggie Newland
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – American Airlines employees in Miami are anxiously awaiting to find out if they still have a job after the air carrier’s parent company, AMR, announced that they planned to lay off 13,000 workers.
The Fort Worth-based airline, responsible for more than half the traffic at Miami International Airport, said layoffs include:
- 4,600 Mechanics
- 4,200 Fleet Service
- 2,300 Flight Attendants
- 1,400 Management Positions
- 400 Pilots
The air carrier did not say how many of those laid off would be in South Florida. American Airlines has about 9,000 employees in South Florida. It operates more than 300 flights a day out of Miami.
“It was sad. It was a very sad day,” said Michael McIntosh who has worked for American as an aircraft mechanic for 20 years. When the airline filed for bankruptcy, he feared layoffs would come next. “We all expected it was gonna be bad but we didn’t figure it was gonna be this bad,” he explained.
Long time American Air employee George Perez said he’s nervous.
“It’s evident there’s going to be some type of layoffs, we don’t know anything yet,” Perez told CBS4 chief consumer investigator Al Sunshine. “Everybody is a little nervous. The consensus is that everybody is a little nervous.”
In a letter sent to employees, AMR CEO Tom Horton wrote that “We have thoroughly analyzed the competition and the industry and what we must achieve is crystal clear. Competing and winning requires a financial improvement of more than $3 billion, and that, in turn, requires significant savings in employee-related costs – of more than $1.25 billion per year.”
According to the letter, all workgroups were cut by 20 percent, including management.
“While we are now firmly on a path to a successful growing future, we must acknowledge the near-term pain these changes will require,” said Horton. “That’s especially true because we will end this journey with many fewer people. But we will also preserve tens of thousands of jobs that would have been lost if we had not embarked on this path – and that’s a goal worth fighting for.”
Last November, the air carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
AMR posted a loss of more than The company lost $904 million in December which was more than in the first nine months of 2011 combined. The losses came despite American charging an average of 7 percent more on tickets than in the second quarter, and imposing fees for some previously free services.