Report: American Airlines May Lay Off Up To 1,400 At MIA
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Since filing for Federal Bankruptcy protection last fall, American Airlines has been planning how to return itself to profitability.
According to the latest Filings with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, parts of those plans include cutting about 1500 Florida Jobs.
The details were filed with Florida Officials Monday September 17th and come from American Airlines Managing Director for Diversity Strategies and Talent Development, Michael J. Waldron.
He outlined the need to possibly cut about 1414 jobs, mainly at its Miami International Airport Operations.
Waldron noted the possible reductions coming from:
668 Fleet Services Clerk, Crew Chiefs
174 Plant Maintenance
36 Stock Clerks
102 Airport Agents
21 Operational Coordinators
34 Passenger Service Representatives
9 Management Support Staff.
Ft. Lauderdale’s possible job cuts at American Airlines include:
1 Plant Maintenance
7 Airport Agents
39 Fleet Service/Crew Chiefs
The possible “furloughs” are slated to begin by the middle of November according to the so-called “Worker Adjustment and Re-Training Notification Notices” which are required by Federal Law.
But American Airlines insists the actual number of possible job cuts may be much less, according to company spokesman Bruce Hicks who added in a statement released to CBS4 News Tuesday afternoon:
“This is a matter of law. The numbers may not be the actual numbers but, we need to include anyone that could possibly be affected. Through restructuring, American Airlines has worked to lower our costs through sustainable, structural changes. Unfortunately, it was clear from the beginning that this would involve job loss. That’s why we made a committed effort through “early out” incentive programs, home-based work options and negotiated solutions with the unions to reduce the number of involuntary reductions. While any job loss is difficult, we now expect the need to furlough only about one-third of our original estimate as a result of these efforts and other progress on our restructuring plans. Because some of the incentive programs are still open, and because the business changes will take place over several months, we don’t yet have final furlough numbers. We are issuing WARN notices to the unions and employees who may be affected to comply with state and federal law, but expect the ultimate impact on jobs will be far less than the number of those notified.”
Unions have been in negotiations with the airline since it filed for bankruptcy protection. The president of the fleet workers union says about 600 of members received notices, but he expects the final number of layoffs to be much lower due in part to incentives to leave early. Sidney Jimenez said, ”Even if it’s one it’s too much but we’re hoping we’re anticipating it’s in the dozens instead of the hundreds.”
A passenger services agent, who did not want to be identified, said it was a difficult day for American employees. The agent said he’s worked for American for 20 years. He did not receive notice that his job is on the line, but he says coworkers did, and he fears for the future.
“People that I see that I know everyday are not going to be here with me,” he said. “It’s sad that it all boils down to this. Everybody works for this company everybody’s proud of what they do and all of the sudden it’s over.”
A cargo department employee told us his job is being outsourced.
“It’s just devastating knowing what the future’s going to bring. It’s frightening for many of us; We’re confused. We feel like we’ve been betrayed,” he said.
American employs about 9000 workers in South Florida and the hub at Miami International Airport is believed to be the 2nd largest for the company nationwide.
American Airlines recently expanded its facilities at Miami International and plans on adding several new flights to Latin America over the next few weeks.