US Airways to Furlough Approximately 2,500 Employees, Seeks Work Rule/Benefit Changes to Complete Re



US Airways to Furlough Approximately 2,500 Employees, Seeks Work Rule/Benefit Changes to Complete Restructuring
Restructuring Plan Still on Track, But More Cost Cuts Needed Tampa Maintenance, Orlando Reservations Facilities to Be Closed

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- US Airways announced today that it will furlough approximately 2,500 more employees over the next three months and seek work rule and benefit changes to complete its cost- cutting initiatives and emerge from Chapter 11 protection in the first quarter of 2003. As part of management's commitment to preserve jobs where possible, the company has committed to maintain the mainline fleet at its current level of 279 aircraft -- 34 more than required under the Restructuring Agreements ratified this past summer -- provided the company's labor unions also agree to additional cost-cutting initiatives that have been proposed by the company for approval prior to the company's filing of its plan of reorganization in the Bankruptcy Court in December.
Every mature network airline is struggling with how to adapt to fundamental changes in the airline business, where high costs will no longer be subsidized by passengers paying premium fares and low-cost airlines have become a major force in the industry. Cost-cutting and furloughs are an unfortunate and painful part of that process, and as difficult as these furlough decisions are, we must take these actions to ensure our successful restructuring and stay on plan to emerge from Chapter 11 protection in March 2003, said David Siegel, US Airways president and chief executive officer.
All work groups will be affected as a result of this action. Included in today's announcement are plans to close a heavy maintenance hangar in Tampa and a reservations call center in Orlando. Employees who hold seniority-based priority at those two facilities will be offered positions at other US Airways facilities in Pennsylvania and North Carolina where these functions will be consolidated. Further specific details about the number of employees and locations are not available at this time, but will be communicated to employees as they are finalized.
Siegel said that as part of its final push to reduce costs and, in recognition of reductions in fourth-quarter and 2003 industry-wide financial performance estimates, the company has begun the process of meeting with its labor union leadership to identify work rule changes and other cost-saving initiatives. While the airline has met its original target of cost savings as outlined to the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) in conjunction with its application for a federal loan guarantee, industry-wide revenue shortfalls have forced the company to revise its business plan and further reduce operating costs.
Our airline has some of the most inefficient work rules in the industry that drive up our costs in ways we can no longer afford in this new, tough revenue environment. The good news is that changing some of these rules will make us much more competitive, without the need to further reduce pay rates. We are clearly focused on saving as many jobs as possible, and on preserving competitive pension and benefits compensation, but we can only do that if we have a viable business, said Siegel. We have an obligation to all of our stakeholders to use this Chapter 11 process to make permanent, structural improvements to our airline so that we are positioned for long-term success.
The Tampa maintenance hangar will be closed immediately, with work shifted to US Airways facilities at Charlotte and Pittsburgh. The Orlando reservations center will be closed on Jan. 10, 2003, with work moved to Pittsburgh and Winston-Salem, N.C., offices. Non-management employees at the Tampa and Orlando facilities who hold seniority will be allowed to transfer, should they so choose.
The airline intends to file its disclosure statement and plan of reorganization on or prior to Dec. 20, 2002, in time for the Bankruptcy Court to consider the adequacy of the disclosure statement at a scheduled Jan. 16, 2003, omnibus hearing, and hopes to complete the process of meeting all remaining conditions of the ATSB loan in the near future.
US Airways currently has approximately 35,000 active employees and provides service to 200 destinations in the U.S., Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. Since filing for Chapter 11 protection in August 2002, it has reduced its work force by almost 2,500. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the airline had 49,000 active employees.
At least the Res folks are getting plenty of advance notification to ponder thier situation.

Too bad the folks in TPA Heavy Maintenance could not have been afforded the same kind of treatment. This is purely shameful.
I realize things have to get done to make things better, but one has to wonder the thought (or lack of) process involved with doing this 3 days before Thanksgiving. I know there is no good time to do this (kind of like breaking up during the holidays), but would 4 days (Fri) really have killed them? Just goes to show how appreciated we all are. The news in Tampa is not being very US Airways friendly either. They love the interviews of those who have just been told seeya right before the holidays. Another good PR job by management. [A href=][/A] has a video clip from this mornings news.
Just got word from a f/a supervisor in CLT. 872 flight attendant positions being eliminated. All a/c will fly with FAA minimum staffing. That's one f/a for every 50 seats. Happy Thanksgiving!
What a shame. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all affected employees. There is never a good time for things like this to happen, but a couple of days before Thanksgiving makes it a tougher pill to swallow. I have to agree with Tadjr. Even though I realize how time critical US Airways situation is, couldn't this announcement have waited until Friday? Chip, are things THAT dire that this announcement had to be made today and not friday?

I didn't think US would part with the TPA Heavy Maintenance operation, but considering their shrinking size, I'm not surprised that they'd opt for confining heavy maintenance work to PIT and CLT.
My heart felt sympathies to all of those affected by this. I especially feel for my co-workers from Indy Res that took
the option to move to MCO to stay with the company. There is a life after US Airways, sometimes a better one. Speaking from experience, enjoy the time with your families and take some time off from work all together. Take advantadge of any training offered and unemployment. It really truly helps you cope with all the changes thru bettering yourself. Good luck to you all.
On 11/26/2002 1:14:30 PM CLTBWIDAYSYR wrote:

Just got word from a f/a supervisor in CLT. 872 flight attendant positions being eliminated. All a/c will fly with FAA minimum staffing. That's one f/a for every 50 seats. Happy Thanksgiving!

That's gonna make working F on a 321 or a 757 feel like a marathon.

I always thought that all the majors had already been at FAA minimums on anything smaller than a 757 since 9/11.
The lesson is.......

NEVER, EVER trust US Airways. What will it take for people to get this?! The manner in which the TPA hangar was closed was old-school USAir modus operendi down the to the letter. Lie to the employees, tell them the computers have a glitch, promise work in a few months. Show up with corporate hacks in the middle of the night and shut the place down three days before Thanksgiving and exactly a month before Christmas.

Maybe there was some revenge in all of this, for TPA being the problem station and voting a solid NO the second time around with the IAM give back nonsense? We know that there are elements in our corporate leadership who would want to send a message mafioso-style to those who wouldn't play ball.

Maybe someday when US Airways is downsized to a single airplane flying PIT-PHL-CLT, the whole ten people left will preach to the rest of us that we should remember them. Give me a break. Our airline needs to be put out of its misery.
N513AU, I can only say those are horrible comments. Wishing that U folds and puts 35,000 on the street is simply horrible.