American Airlines said that it expects to cut more than 1,400 jobs, most of them at Miami International Airport. American expects to cut 158 employees at MIA and 47 workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Nov. 16, but the largest cutback will happen at the Miami airport on about Dec. 16, when 1,209 employees will lose their jobs, airline official Michael Waldron wrote in a letter to the state labor agency this week.
American expects to cut 158 employees at MIA and 47 workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Nov. 16, but the largest cutback will happen at the Miami airport on about Dec. 16, when 1,209 employees will lose their jobs, airline official Michael Waldron wrote in a letter to the state labor agency this week.
The news comes about 10 months after the airline – one of the largest employers in Miami – filed for bankruptcy. The company has about 9,000 employees in the region, according to The Miami Herald.
American Airlines has not finalized its furlough numbers, and is issuing notices to the unions and employees who may be affected to comply with Florida and federal law, company spokesman Bruce Hicks said in a statement Tuesday.
American expects "the ultimate impact on jobs will be far less than the number of those notified," Hicks said.
"Through restructuring, American Airlines has worked to lower our costs through sustainable, structural changes. Unfortunately, it was clear from the beginning that this would involve job loss," Hicks said. "That’s why we made a committed effort through 'early out' incentive programs, home-based work options and negotiated solutions with the unions to reduce the number of involuntary reductions. While any job loss is difficult, we now expect the need to furlough only about one-third of our original estimate as a result of these efforts and other progress on our restructuring plans."
In his notice to the state on Monday, Waldron said that as many as 668 fleet service clerks and crew chiefs could lose their jobs at Miami International Airport, as well as 323 mechanics, 174 plant maintenance workers and 102 airport agents.
"American Airlines’ announcement today is certainly bad news for their company and a setback for hundreds of Florida families," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement Tuesday. "We are focused on growing our economy so every Floridian has access to a great job because we know that having the opportunity to work hard and provide for your children is the heart of the American Dream."
Scott said he asked the director of Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity, Hunting Deutsch, to work with business groups and labor unions to immediately develop a plan to help transition the affected aviation workers into other jobs.
The company's customers say they want a financially healthy airline – but Karen Arazi said she is also concerned about her frequent flier miles.
"I hope they survive, its a tough time right now, hope everyone keeps their jobs," she said.
Said American Airlines customer Jonathan Bentov: "It's very unfortunate, but they're probably going to make it through this, and the company will live on."