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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Unions await layoffs from American Airlines

DALLAS (AP) – American Airlines employees could learn as early as Wednesday whether they will still have jobs, as the world’s largest carrier grapples with a downturn in business caused by last week’s terrorist attacks.
American and other major carriers have already cut their flight schedules by 20 percent, ”and we are currently studying other resource issues associated with that, including employees,” said Karen Watson, a spokeswoman for American.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an American official told The Associated Press the company would announce layoffs this week but the number of layoffs was unclear.
Unions representing pilots, flight attendants and mechanics have been plotting strategy for protecting as many jobs as possible, convinced that layoffs are coming.
”We’re expecting it, we just don’t know how it’s going to affect flight attendants. We’re not in denial,” said Leslie Mayo, a spokeswoman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which has about 23,000 members at American.
Leaders of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s 11,000 pilots, have talked to airline officials about how furlough provisions of their contract would be applied. The union did not respond to calls for comment.
American and its commuter line, American Eagle, have about 100,000 employees.
Houston-based Continental said Saturday it would lay off 12,000 of its 56,000 employees. Employees are still awaiting details.
A spokeswoman for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines said the low-fare carrier has resumed a nearly normal schedule of 2,700 daily flights and was not considering layoffs.
American last furloughed flight attendants in 1981, when it was closing down operations in some cities. Under a contract provision negotiated then and renewed several times, the airline must offer unpaid leave before it can furlough flight attendants.
Workers who accept the leave package will retain their medical and travel benefits and continue to accrue seniority for purposes of pensions, Mayo said.
The pilots’ union says that an agreement tied to American’s purchase of Trans World Airlines this year could force American to offer early retirement to many pilots before making layoffs.
The unions, however, are concerned that American will seek to sidestep the normal rules because of the unusual circumstances of the carrier’s current problems: Terrorist attacks that are expected to reduce air travel for months.
Since the attacks, airlines suffered through a shutdown of the nation’s aviation system, and even since flying was resumed, many planes have flown half-empty. But airlines must still contend with fixed costs such as labor and airplane leases.
Continental Airlines has nearly as much debt as capital, according to Salomon Smith Barney. American’s parent, AMR Corp. of Fort Worth, is in slightly better shape, and Southwest has a lower debt ratio than either of its Texas rivals.

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