Pilots Want Pay Increase As Cutbacks Are Announced
AMR Corp. and American Airlines Inc. have announced immediate
cutbacks to their executive ranks, which will affect 100 to 200
positions, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The number of people let go will probably be less that the
number of jobs eliminated, according to AMR spokesman John Hotard.
"Most departments have headcounts that they must reduce every year,
but the department can choose how they do this," he said. "They may
not fill vacancies when they occur, especially if they're later in
Hotard indicated the cuts represent AMR's efforts to reduce
costs. "It's what we've been doing every year since 2001," he
AMR lost $8 billion between 2001 and 2005, posted a $231 million
profit in 2006, and earned $573 million this year through September
30. Fuel prices, in particular, are wrecking havoc with cost
balances, company officials said.
In a separate issue, American Airlines pilots criticized the
carrier's management Friday, and picketed at Dallas/Fort Worth
International Airport. The pilots then took their issues with
management into a general employee meeting with Gerard Arpey,
American's chairman and chief executive.
Picketers at DFW carried signs stating "Management Greed Is
Destroying AA" and "AMR is sacrificing Customer service."
The Allied Pilots Association has proposed raising pay rates
more than 50 percent by next year, with additional raises in 2009,
2010 and 2011.
The union reportedly pulled no punches in the meeting with
Arpey, and asked him "to negotiate in good faith a contract that
shows you truly value the professional leadership we bring to this
airline every day," said union official Mickey Mellerski.
"It is time to move forward to becoming a company that is first
in customer service, that is first in on-time performance, and that
is first in employee happiness and trust," he said.
"Finally, it is time to move forward and away from being an
airline primarily driven by management greed -- greed that is
destroying this airline," said Mellerski, chairman of the Dallas
Ft. Worth pilot base.
Jeff Brundage, senior VP of human resources at American, said
the airline is listening... really, it is.
"The company is focused on achieving a positive outcome for
everyone through agreements that serve the long-term interests of
the company, our employees and shareholders," he said. "American
remains dedicated to the collaborative processes that have
benefited the airline and its employees in so many ways. We
continue to believe that meaningful employee involvement and
dialogue provides far more benefits than less collaborative models
- and our track record proves it."