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Comair warns 315 jobs may go Jan. 2

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Well-known member
Jan 29, 2002
Comair warns 315 jobs may go Jan. 2
By James Pilcher
Enquirer staff writer
http://gcirm.cincinnati.com/RealMed...50_0905L.gif/61633934343237313433373065386230Comair has notified Kentucky state officials that 315 pilots and flight attendants could be laid off in the first wave of cuts as the Erlanger-based carrier tries to restructure under bankruptcy.

The letter to the state, revealed today, was the first indication how many pilots and flight attendants – mostly based at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport – could be affected as Comair cuts as many as 1,000 jobs.

The layoffs, which would take place on Jan. 2, and could include up to 150 pilots and 165 flight attendants, Comair said in the notice required by state law. Comair’s corporate parent Delta Air Lines also has begun warning workers of potential layoffs from its local operation as it too restructures under bankruptcy.

The job cuts are taking place as part of Delta’s efforts to shrink its hub at the local airport, including a 26 percent cut in the flight schedule on Dec. 2.

Delta is expecting as many as 650 jobs to be eliminated by shrinking the hub.

Comair, Delta’s subsidiary, could drop another 650 jobs as it tries to cut $70 million from its annual costs.

Comair spokeswoman Katie Moser said the airline might not need to cut the full 315 positions. The airline is still finalizing its new flight schedule. It also has several voluntary packages available to workers, including leaves and early retirements.

“We have tried very hard to limit the final number of furloughs,” Moser said.

The cuts are coming as both Comair and Delta are seeking concessions from their unions.

Comair management and the unions representing the company’s 1,700 pilots, 1,000 flight attendants and 500 mechanics are already in talks.

But Moser said results of those discussions would not have any impact on the final number of job cuts.

Comair employs about 6,000, including 4,000 locally. Any involuntary layoffs would probably be made based on seniority.

Officials with the pilot and flight attendant unions did not return calls seeking comment. The pilots agreed to a pay freeze earlier this year; the Comair flight attendants agreed to a lower pay scale for new workers.

As for Delta, that company last week asked a bankruptcy judge to void its contract with its nearly 7,000 pilots, including nearly 700 who are locally based.

The legal move prompted the union to creating a strike preparedness committee. But the airline has said it wanted a voluntary settlement, even as it asks for $325 million annually in concessions. The pilots gave back $1 billion in wages and other benefits last fall to help Delta avoid bankruptcy then.

Delta officials said today that notices were sent to individual workers last month warning them of a potential layoff but did not offer specifics, nor would they say how many letters were sent.

Company officials said the state was not notified because Delta had not reached the requirement for sending such a notice.

Delta also is offering voluntary buyouts and early retirements, but company officials declined comment on how many workers had taken those buyouts.

They also would not comment on whether the voluntary programs reduced the potential need for layoffs.

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I flew with an eighteen year captain last week and he said he can't ever remember when this airline was properly staffed. My hope is that with all the attrition this fall there won't be any involuntary furloughs. The reduction in flying next month might actually match the staffing level for the first time in a long time. I know quite a few guys that just started and they're pretty bummed out, which we all are.
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Im taking Voluntary Furlough. I hope things get better by the time they call us back. UBA757
I got the lucky letter the other day saying i may or may not be furloguhed sometime after Jan 1st. The number in the letter was 154 to be furloughed, not factoring in leave or recent attrition.

The CP's also called saying that it wasn't a furloug notice, jsut a heads up letter, required by the government.

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