More than 1,500 accept AA's early retirement plan
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9/27/12 at 5:22 AM
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Nearly 1,600 American Airlines mechanics and stock clerks have accepted the company's early-retirement incentive plan, which could reduce layoffs needed to cut costs, company executives said Wednesday.
A total of 1,595 American employees, including 743 in Tulsa, who are members of the Transport Workers Union mechanics & related class and the stores or stock clerks work group accepted the company's early-out option. The option includes about $39,000 in severance pay, officials said.
"We are pleased 1,595 employees covered by the TWU mechanic & related and stores agreements have chosen to sign up for the early out incentive plan," said American spokesman Bruce Hicks. "While any involuntary reductions are unfortunate, the significant interest we received in these options, along with interest in the fleet service option, will allow us to substantially reduce the number of furloughs necessary for people in these work groups."
American, which filed for bankruptcy Nov. 29, said it needs to cut at least 10,000 employees, including about 800 mechanics in Tulsa, and reduce labor costs by $1.06 billion annually to emerge from bankruptcy and compete successfully in the airline industry.
At American's Maintenance & Engineering Center in Tulsa, 618 mechanics & related workers, 65 plant maintenance workers and 60 logistics specialists enrolled in the early-out program, said officials at TWU Local 514 in Tulsa.
The M&E base employs more than 5,000 mechanics and 7,000 people overall.
The early-out enrollment window closed at midnight Tuesday. TWU members who signed up for the program have until 5 p.m. Sunday to change their mind by submitting a revocation letter to the union and the company, officials said.
"We expect the early-out departures to occur on a staggered basis to align with our operational needs, with most anticipated departures to take place in December and February, May or September 2013," Hicks said.
Original Print Headline: 743 in Tulsa take AA's early-out
D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451