AA unions review early-out incentives | Tulsa World

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

September 8, 2012

Early-out retirement incentives are being offered to senior members of the Transport Workers Union and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

John Hewitt, chairman of maintenance at TWU Local 514 in Tulsa, said early-out incentives in the mechanics & related and stock clerk contracts could reduce involuntary layoffs.

American said it needs to cut at least 10,400 workers companywide, including 770 mechanics & related and 90 stock clerks at the company’s Tulsa maintenance base and reduce labor costs by $1.06 billion a year to compete in the airline industry.

The window for enrolling in the M&R and stock clerk early-out programs opened Tuesday and will close Sept. 25, company executives said.

“The company believes most of the early-out release dates will occur in December 2012 and February, May and September 2013,” the company said. “However, these dates may change due to operational needs or the number of early-out participants. We are committed to accepting all early-out requests from eligible employees.”

Under the early-out program, a mechanic who is 45 years old with 15 years at the company could be eligible for a $12,500 cash payout, plus $10,000 and 13 weeks’ severance pay, TWU officials said.

Members of Local 514 may attend early-out briefings at 7:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Thursday and at 3:45 p.m. Sept. 18 at the union hall at 11929 E. Pine St.

The enrollment window for the APFA opened Aug. 27, and it will close Sept. 20, company executives said.

“Flight attendants will state their preference for which month they want their departure to be effective, but the company will determine how many may leave at any time to ensure there is no impact on service to our customers,” the company said.

Flight attendants with 15 years’ service with American could receive $40,000 in severance pay in the early-out program, officials said.

American CEO Tom Horton on Friday praised management employees for the airline’s improved operational performance in recent weeks. He said management employees redesigned American’s executive operations while significantly reducing costs.

“When we embarked on the process of redesigning our management and support organization earlier this year, the goal was to build the strongest team possible to deliver for our customers and other key stakeholders,” Horton said in a email to management and support employees. “We had to rethink how we do our jobs and the best way to use our resources. I am pleased to say, thanks to all of you, we’ve successfully completed these efforts.

“While the changes are necessary to our ability to operate a lean, responsive and customer-focused company, the pace and depth of those changes asked a lot of us all.”

Along with its other labor groups, American’s management and support staff was targeted for 20 percent annual labor cost reductions – trimmed to 17 percent through negotiations – and $165 million a year in cost savings.

“Specifically, American asks that each employee group – management, non-union and unionized – bear an equal share of the necessary reductions,” American said in court documents.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=585&articleid=20120908_45_E1_Asnego166743&r=2621

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