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Many St. Louis Flight Attendants Voted 'No'

(Reuters file photo)


St. Louis, MO – American Airlines' flight attendants Wednesday approved changes to their contract, but many St. Louis-based flight attendants voted no.

That's because all 1,800 will lose their jobs regardless of whether American avoids bankruptcy; they say they had nothing to lose.

The flight attendants are all former T-W-A employees; they say they might have had a better chance in bankruptcy court, adding there own union won nothing for them in exchange for the concessions, which total $340 million.

Some terms of the concessions approved by major unions at American Airlines:
- Employees: American has 99,000 employees, including 12,000 pilots, 34,000 ground workers and 24,000 flight attendants.

- Concessions: $1.8 billion per year. Annual pilot costs would be cut $660 million; $620 million from ground workers; $340 million from flight attendants; $80 million from agents, representatives and planners; and $100 million from management and support staff.

- Job Cuts: The agreements would eliminate the jobs of about 2,500 pilots, 2,000 flight attendants and between 1,100 and 1,400 ground workers. The company says it also will cut 5% of its 12,000 management jobs.

- Pilot pay: A 23% cut, effective May 1, with 17% reductions next year.
- Flight attendant pay: A 15.6% cut effective May 1.
- Ground worker pay: A 16% cut for mechanics and 15.6% cut for baggage handlers.
- Management pay: Salary cuts of 4-17% percent. Chairman Donald J. Carty said he would take a 33% percent cut in his $585,813 salary.

- Raises: Union employees would get 1.5% pay raises in later years of the contracts, which last nearly six years.

- Bonuses: Employees could get one-time bonuses of 4.5% if the company's credit ratings return to levels before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; an improvement of several notches, to investment grade.

- Stock options: Workers would get options potentially worth a 24.3% equity stake in the airline.

- Benefits: Reduced, with shortened vacations.