American Wants To Slash 13,000 Jobs

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About 400 pilots are affected by sweeping layoffs proposed by American Airlines as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy. In a plan unveiled Wednesday, the airline announced it will lay off 13,000 employees, about 15 percent of its workforce, cancel unprofitable routes and retire old inefficient aircraft. "We are going to use the restructuring process to make the necessary changes to meet our challenges head-on and capitalize fully on the solid foundation we've put in place," CEO Thomas Horton said in a letter to employees. The employees have a different take.

Unions universally characterized the cuts as unacceptably harsh and questioned Horton's math. The CEO said the cuts would save the company (which lost almost $1.8 billion last year) $1.25 billion a year, and the unions put the tally at about $2.8 billion. Regardless of the true numbers, the cuts seem poised to cost 4,600 maintenance workers, 4,200 baggage handlers, 2,300 flight attendants and 1,400 management and support workers their jobs, in addition to the pilots. American has to attempt to negotiate with the unions to achieve the cuts but if those talks fail it can put its case before a federal judge to impose them as part of the plan to emerge from bankruptcy.