DALLAS (AP) — 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 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 if Hicks is right, the final job losses will be about a third of that.
Over the summer American accepted slightly smaller cost-cutting measures as it negotiated new labor contracts, and it agreed to give bonuses to flight attendants and ground workers who quit. So far 1,800 flight attendants and 800 ground workers have applied to take the money and leave.
Layoff notices went to nearly 3,000 workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where a maintenance facility will close, and nearly 3,000 more at a base in Tulsa, Okla. Also receiving notices were about 1,200 workers in Miami, 1,100 in New York and Newark, N.J., 900 in Chicago, and smaller numbers elsewhere.
"As bad as this is — and we knew this day was coming — we've been able to lessen the pain," said Jamie Horwitz, a spokesman for the Transport Workers Union.
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.