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American workers protest, says the airline is ‘Blaming Labor AgAAin’


This news story was published on February 15, 2012.
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By Andrea Ahles, McClatchy Newspapers –

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is “blaming labor agAAin,” the carrier’s workers said as they marched in front of Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday.

(PHOTO: American Airlines unions and employees protest at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Tuesday, February 14, 2012.)

About 300 flight attendants, mechanics and ground crew workers protested American Airlines’ restructuring plan that would layoff 13,000 employees, terminate pensions and shut down its Alliance Fort Worth maintenance facility.

Protesters held signs that said American needed to pay its pensions and that corporate greed at the carrier needs to end, referring to executive bonuses that management received in previous years.

“I have 14 years of service and if (management) gets what they want, I won’t have a job,” said Aaron Morrison, a wheel and brake shop mechanic who drove from Tulsa, Okla., to attend the protest.

The demonstration also attracted a few pilots and a couple of other local unions who were showing their support for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union.

Mary Ellen Matter, a flight attendant at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, marched with her sister, Ruth Hammack, who is a flight attendant at American.

“(Management) keeps pushing them and taking things away,” Matter said. “My sister is worried about losing her home.”

Hammack, who lives in Carrolton, Texas, said American’s restructuring plan was an insult to flight attendants, which changed work rules and would cut 2,300 flight attendants.

“If they’re not taking care of their employees, I don’t know how management is going to be successful in their attempt to get us out of bankruptcy,” Hammack said.

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