American Airlines to shutter Fort Worth maintenance base in December
BY Staff and Wire Reports
Monday, September 10, 2012
9/10/12 at 4:59 PM
American Airlines plans to eliminate 1,090 jobs when it shuts down a Fort Worth maintenance facility in December.
The airline announced plans to close the facility several months ago. It gave details on the timing and job losses to the Transport Workers Union on Friday, and the union posted the document on its website.
American plans to shut down four maintenance lines at Alliance Airport in November and begin layoffs on Dec. 15, according to the document. The airline plans to turn in the keys in April, and the city of Fort Worth hopes to find another tenant.
American, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, plans to outsource the work done at Alliance or shift it to facilities at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Tulsa.
The airline plans to eliminate 839 out of more than 5,000 maintenance jobs in Tulsa, officials said Monday.
For more than 50 years, Tulsa has been a key part of the company's operations as the home of its largest maintenance facility. In Tulsa, 7,000 people are employed locally by American Airlines. That total includes the mechanics and related workers in the TWU, who recently signed a contract with AMR.
As part of that contract, the mechanics' union agreed to a reduction in force. Exactly how many mechanics currently working in Tulsa will lose their jobs depends, however, on complicated "bumping" rules that take into account TWU workers at Alliance and their seniority, officials said. Also, the airline is offering an "early out" provision, which further adds to the complexity of the labor situation.
In 2010, the airline closed a Kansas City, Mo., maintenance facility that it acquired in the 2001 purchase of bankrupt TWA.
Separately, the union for American Airlines flight attendants said 901 of its members have signed up to get payments of $40,000 apiece for quitting their jobs at the financially troubled company so far.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said briefings on the buyouts have been standing-room only.
The payments were part of a concessionary contract that flight attendants approved with the airline, which is trying to cut its work force and labor costs while it's under bankruptcy protection. The buyouts are designed to reduce the need for layoffs at American, which wants to cut about 2,000 flight-attendant jobs.
Flight attendants with at least 15 years of service are eligible for the payments. The sign-up period ends Sept. 20.
The attendants voted last month to ratify a contract that would impose tougher productivity rules but give the attendants a 3 percent stake in parent AMR Corp. after it emerges from bankruptcy protection. A federal judge in New York is expected to approve the contract Wednesday.
American Airlines Inc. planes sit on the tarmac at Ronald Reagan National airport in Washington, D.C. ANDREW HARRER/Bloomberg