St. Louis Public Radio News
12:48 pm
Tue April 1, 2003

American Airlines to Lay Off Thousands of Pilots

Forth Worth, TX – Union officials say 2,500 American Airlines pilots will lose their jobs in the next year.

American is the world's largest airline, and it's trying to avoid bankruptcy. The layoffs are part of $660 million in concessions by the pilots' union. The union reached a deal with the airline yesterday.

Pilot salaries will also be slashed. Starting next month, pilots will earn 23 percent less. And they'll lose an additional 17 percent each year for the next six years.

A spokesman for the 13,000-member Allied Pilots Associ tion says he doesn't think "anybody's thrilled" with pay cuts and furloughs. But he says "the alternative clearly would be even
worse."

The airline industry is still battling its worst downturn ever. Ot er major airlines are also pushing employees to accept wage and benefit cuts.