FORT WORTH, Texas—American Airlines, American Eagle and TWA employees—and now the company’s Board of Directors—are chipping in to help American through its financial crisis by taking voluntary pay cuts or making outright donations to the company following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
American Chairman and CEO Don Carty announced to employees yesterday that the company’s Board members had offered to serve without compensation through the end of the year.
“Perhaps no group is more keenly aware of our problems than our Board members, so it is particularly meaningful for them to forgo compensation for the remainder of the year,” Carty said.
“The employees of American, American Eagle and TWA also understand the depth of our crisis and are stepping forward to meet that challenge, as I knew they would,” said Carty, who is also serving without compensation until the end of the year. In addition, the entire officer group at American has taken significant voluntary pay cuts.
Now, through a special Web site, hundreds of employees have already signed up to take voluntary cuts in pay or make donations to help the company through its financial crisis.
The airline unveiled the “American Heroes” Web site Tuesday to allow employees to enroll for voluntary payroll deduction or make a lump-sum donation to the fund. Twenty cents of every dollar donated will go to help the families of the American Airlines employees who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and to help laid-off employees who face unique hardships.
Carty said a steady stream of employees has made donations through the site since it opened late Tuesday, and employees are also making donations at American Airlines Employee Federal Credit Union offices.
“No one is better, especially in a crisis, than the people of American Airlines, American Eagle and TWA,” Carty said, “and we have seen that spirit again and again since Sept. 11. It is also gratifying to have received offers of help from outside the company, from retirees or friends of American.”
The Web address is http://www.amrcorp.com/heroes/ . Those who are not employees or retirees of American, American Eagle or TWA will find an on-line form to donate to the fund in a lump-sum contribution.
American and other airlines are suffering unprecedented losses in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., that shut down the industry for four days and shook the confidence of frequent travelers. Although travel is improving, Carty said American is still feeling a revenue drain associated with low load factors and low fares.
“The federal assistance we received was helpful but still will not offset the losses we incurred as a result of this tragedy,” Carty said.
American and other airlines have been forced to lay off thousands of employees as they cut schedules by up to 20 percent and grounded airplanes. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, thousands of AA, American Eagle and TWA employees have sent Carty e-mails and letters volunteering to take pay cuts themselves.