Cargo jobs go in American purge

AMERICAN Airlines (AA) plans to slash 1,200 non-union jobs, including cargo staff, in a bid to reduce annual expenses by 20 per cent, according to reports.

The move, which will bring the total number of jobs lost to 14,200, comes after the carrier’s parent company – AMR Corporation – filed for bankruptcy last year.

Under Chapter 11 protection, which in the US means a company or person may restructure their loans but still continue operating, AA has more freedom to refuse union offers.

In February, AA reportedly revealed it would cut 13,000 union pilots, flight attendants and ground workers.

Sources claim the company wants to “outsource the jobs of all airport skycaps and cargo agents, cancel a planned lump-sum payment that was due for non-union workers next year, freeze their pension plan, cut vacation and paid holidays, and reduce medical benefits”.

Last November, Thomas Horton, the company’s new chairman and chief executive officer, stated: “Achieving the competitive cost structure we need remains a key imperative in this process,” adding “and as one part of that, we plan to initiate further negotiations with all of our unions to reduce our labour costs to competitive levels.”

AMR lost US$471m in 2010 and $982m in the first nine months of 2011 and an estimated £1.1bn for the whole year, which caused the company’s stock price to plummet 79 per cent.

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