Washington, D.C. – Current and former American Airlines passenger service agents say rampant outsourcing of key passenger service agent positions across the country to low-paid contractors likely will contribute to passenger delays during the busy holiday travel season.
“They’re not trained the way we were”, said Eva Solis, a Passenger Service Agent at LAX. “The quality is not the same.”
American Airlines is outsourcing jobs across its system, hiring low-paid contractors, and at seven stations has outsourced every ramp and gate agent position, including Hartford, Conn., Memphis, Tenn., and others.
Solis was among more than a dozen current and soon-to-be former passenger service agents who visited U.S. Senate offices last week to focus attention on the airlines’ ongoing campaign to stop workers from exercising their democratic right to vote about union representation.
Following the orders of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, nearly 9,700 American Airlines employees are scheduled to vote on union representation beginning December 4th. Despite this, AMR, the parent corporation of American Airlines that filed for bankruptcy more than a year ago with $ 4 billion in the bank, claims it will go to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent a vote.
Just last week, American filed for a stay of the election with the 5th Circuit Court, the same court that has twice ruled against the company on its bid to deny workers their rights. CWA filed a response on behalf of the agents, asking the court to once again disregard American’s frivolous motion and put an end to the company’s delaying tactics and abuse of the legal process.
AMR recently announced that since it filed for bankruptcy last November, it has spent over $200 million on fees and expenses related to the bankruptcy. Of that, AMR paid $19.5 million to the New York City-based law firm Paul Hastings LLP, to help the airline throw out existing union contracts and stop passenger service agents from voting in their democratic election.