AMR Still Aiming For Negotiated Union Deals

March 31, 2012

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AMR, the bankrupt parent of American Airlines, on Friday said it remains in talks with its unions and prefers negotiated deals even after asking its bankruptcy court for permission to void the workers' contracts.

The company also has offered to outsource fewer jobs represented by the Transport Workers Union, AMR said in an update on negotiations. It did not give a figure.

"American is ready to continue talks with all its unions to bring these important negotiations to a successful conclusion," the company said.

American Airlines on Tuesday sought court approval to throw out contracts, a move that pressures pilots, flight attendants and other unionised workers to quickly agree to concessions.

The company filed for Chapter 11 on November 29, citing a need to cut its staff costs to better compete with profitable rivals. American has said it wants to slash overall costs by USD$2 billion annually. More than half of the savings would come from labour, including a plan to shed 13,000 jobs.

About 9,000 of those workers are members of the TWU, which represents seven work groups.

The union reaffirmed on Friday that it was committed to reaching deals with the airline.

American has about 74,000 full- and part-time employees and its regional carrier American Eagle has about 14,000 full- and part-time employees.

Also on Friday, AMR reported a net loss of USD$619 million for February, including USD$375 million related to its reorganisation.

AMR said its operating revenue amounted to USD$1.8 billion for the month and it spent USD$682 million on fuel. The company said it spent USD$584 million on wages, salaries and benefits.

The company ended the month with USD$4.6 billion in cash and short-term investments.