American Airlines sent the Transport Workers Union a layoff notification that over 11,000 workers could be affected by job cuts from the carrier by the end of the year.
The WARN notice, which is required by federal or state laws depending on the location, was given to the TWU late last week but notes that the number of layoffs is likely to be much lower than total number stated in the notice.
"To be clear, we are issuing WARN notices to the unions and employees who may [sic] be affected to comply with state and federal law," American said in the letter to the TWU. "However, we expect the ultimate number of employees who will ultimately be impacted to be far less than the number of employees notified."
The letter listed 11,159 TWU employees that could be impacted. To mitigate the number of layoffs, American has offered TWU workers an early out incentive that includes one-time severance payments over $12,500 depending on seniority and time at the company. Workers have until Sept. 25 to apply and so far, close to 1,000 mechanics and fleet service workers have applied for the offer, according to the TWU.
UPDATE: American spokesman Bruce Hicks said that layoffs are likely to be around 4,400, far less than the original estimate of 8,500 TWU worker layoffs announced in February.
"We expect less than 40 percent will ultimately be furloughed," Hicks said. "Far fewer people will be laid off than what we anticipated last February."
The layoff figure has been lowered through the contract negotiations between American and the TWU and through attrition, job openings and the early out option for TWU workers.