American Airlines MD-80 wing

According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, American Airlines in implementing job losses as it attempts to avoid bankruptcy and dig itself out of a financial hole. Approximately, 921 flight attendants at American Airlines will face unemployment , while 228 other employees will be furloughed. Already, 224 employees have taken two-month involuntary leaves in lieu of job losses. In June, American Airlines warned that it would probably need to implement over 1,200 job losses due to cuts in its flying capacity; but hoped to reduce the number of job losses with “voluntary” resignations, leaves of absence and job sharing.

The article said:

“We are very grateful to those flight attendants who helped offset our overage by taking one of the voluntary options, and know how difficult it is for those who will be furloughed,” the airline said in a statement.  “Decisions like these involve the livelihood of dedicated employees and are never easy. Working closely with APFA, we saved the majority of jobs while balancing operational costs, a critical need for the company that benefits everyone in this extremely difficult economic environment,” American added.”

As the economy worsens many companies are looking at options that will help them avoid job losses. The necessity of minimizing job losses is not purely benevolent. Although times are hard now, once the economy picks up again it will be more difficult for companies to increase production if they need to rehire and retrain all over again–therefore preventing job losses benefits employers. But for workers who are considering, “job saving” options such as reduced hours, reduced salary, furloughs or even work shares, take a close look at the “real costs” before agreeing to the arrangement.  ‘

Job losses can be devastating to the economic well being of anyone; but some of the “job saving” arrangements may also hurt you. Think for a moment. If you take part-time hours that don’t cover your medical bills , debt payments or don’t allow you to save, you still jeopardize your financial health AND you have NO access to services such as unemployment insurance, food stamps or other public services designed to help you get through hard times. Also, make sure the “temporary” arrangement doesn’t become long-term and permanent. It’s best to get any new work arrangement in writing.