American Airlines, which is restructuring its operations in the wake of its bankruptcy filing, has notified the state that it could lay off as many as 72 workers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The actual number of layoffs, however, could be considerably fewer.
The company, which has about 300 workers at the airport, reported in its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification to the state that the layoffs are part of a cost-cutting effort in which it will outsource some functions.
“We are issuing WARN notices to the unions and employees who may be affected to comply with state and federal law, but expect the ultimate impact on jobs will be far less than the number of those notified,” Bruce Hicks, an American Airlines spokesman, said in a statement.
Hicks told the Associated Press that less than 40 percent of those receiving notices would lose their jobs. He said that under federal law the airline is required to notify anyone whose position could change, including workers who may get “bumped” by employees with greater seniority whose jobs are eliminated or outsourced.
Altogether, American is sending layoff notices to 11,000 workers companywide. In February, the company estimated that that as many as 14,000 workers could lose their jobs, but it now expects the job losses will be about one-third that number.
The airlines’ biggest presence in the Triangle is a call center in Cary, where it employs more than 1,000 nonunion workers. American didn’t respond to inquiries seeking comment on whether layoffs are anticipated in Cary.
The layoffs, which are expected to take effect Nov. 16, could affect agents, and maintenance and fleet service workers, among others. The company also told the state that it has offered employees voluntary job buyouts that could reduce the number of layoffs.