ployers provide at least a 60-day notice when large-scale layoffs are pending.
No such notice appears in Arizona’s WARN Act database – but the last entry there is from July 21, and American would have had until July 31 to file notice with the state. When asked Monday if American had filed a notice, the Arizona Department of Economic Security said it would respond to a public records request for any documentation.
At the beginning of this year, American had more than 8,600 employees at its Phoenix hub and about 1,400 elsewhere in the state, an airline official said. That number is likely smaller now, as the announcement of involuntary cuts was preceded by more than 12,500 voluntary departures nationwide, the company’s letter said.
Rezler said about 130 of the estimated 1,075 fleet service workers his union represents in Phoenix opted for early retirement or other voluntary leave packages. He expressed some optimism that those voluntary departures would be enough to stave off further cuts among his members in Phoenix.
“If you have enough that took the early outs or the leaves, then your work group will possibly be saved,” he said.
Even if Phoenix is not targeted, however, Rezler worries some workers there might be displaced by workers with more seniority who are laid off elsewhere – a practice called “bumping in.”
“That is my main concern here as I think we escape the initial cuts,” Rezler said.
If Congress can reach a deal on extending the PSP, such concerns will be moot, at least for now. His union has been doing its part to make such a deal happen, he said.
“We’ve had members reach out to their representatives. We’ve been blasting out all over Facebook and telling people, ‘Hey, take the time to send it in,'” he said. Rezler said he is at least “somewhat optimistic” their efforts will bear fruit.
“The Democrats seem to be for it. The Republicans, I’ve heard some are for it,” he said.
Fred Yamashita, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO, was less hopeful, saying the Senate “has just refused to hear any of these (aid) bills coming out of the House.”
Tajer said he thinks Congress wants to get a deal done, but noted – again, using a flying metaphor – that that’s different than actually getting it done.
“So we’re very pleased to see that,” he said. “But now we need to do more than just talk about flying the airplane. We need to actually have it cleared for takeoff.”