FORT WORTH, Texas - AMR Chairman Don Carty today heralded “ground breaking accords” with the leadership of the three major unions representing American Airlines employees as he announced changes in pay plans for management and non-union employees to achieve $1.8 billion in employee cost savings.
“Today’s unprecedented action by the unions, our employees and the company represent another first at American and in our industry,” Carty said.
“By taking these decisive actions, the union leadership and our employees have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the future of the company, and have enabled us to avoid an immediate filing with the bankruptcy court. The speed with which these comprehensive and complex agreements was reached is a testament to our people.”
The accords with the three unions are far reaching and touch on nearly every aspect of pay, benefits and work rules.
As part of this effort, the company will also announce changes to pay, benefits and work rules for all non-union employees, including agents, representatives, planners, support staff and management.
Labor leaders worked with the company to determine how best to meet their targets, while over 10,000 non-union employees actively participated through surveys, focus groups and InterAction sessions to help determine theirs.
The cost savings will be divided by work group as follows:
* Pilots: $660 million
* Flight attendants: $340 million
* TWU Represented employees: $620 million
* Agents, representatives and planners: $80 million
* Management and support staff: $100 million
In addition, the company announced that Carty will take a 33 percent base pay cut; decline a bonus for the third consecutive year; and will ask the AMR Board of Directors to make further changes that significantly reduce the value of his and his senior officers’ compensation packages.
In announcing the agreements, Carty also reported that American employees will have access to a new stock option and profit sharing program.
Carty cautioned, however, that while these agreements are a “critical step in our resolute march toward survival,” he said that the agreements must still be ratified by the unions’ memberships and the company must, among other factors, secure “meaningful concessions” from its vendors, lessors and suppliers. The company, in communications to its employees, stressed that “the financial condition of American is weak and its prospects remain uncertain. Particularly given the impact of the continuing war in Iraq and the different general economic conditions that are negatively impacting the industry, the days ahead will be difficult and the success of our joint efforts is not yet assured.”
“I would not ask for these sacrifices if I weren’t convinced that they were absolutely necessary to achieve our restructuring goals,” Carty said. He committed to building upon theÊ“culture of cooperation and collaboration that produced today’s agreements and that is essential to our future. My commitment to fostering this new culture will not change,” he said. “Our employees are key to our success.”