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Airline, Group Talk Job Cut Plans

August 13, 2001

PARIS (AP) _ Executives and labor leaders of ailing French airline AOM-Air Liberte met Monday to detail a plan to cut its work force.

AOM-Air Liberte’s enterprise committee was to study a layoff plan calling for more than 1,400 job cuts, French media reported. The company has a total of about 4,100 workers.

The two sides took a weekend pause in their talks to let union leaders draw up specific accords for each type of employee _ such as pilots, mechanics and cabin crew.

But talks went late into the night Monday with no resolution.

Among the sticking points are whether to cut jobs equally at the sister airlines _ AOM and Air Liberte _ or to favor workers with more seniority or families, according to reports on RTL radio and LCI Television.

Last month, a French court selected a rescue plan offered by a group headed by a former Air France pilot, Jean-Charles Corbet. The original terms of the rescue package, which was negotiated with help from a French court, called for a total of 1,800 job cuts.

The company filed for bankruptcy in June after its two owners _ Swissair Group and French investment house Marie-Wendel _ refused to provide more money for the loss-making airline operator.

A full list of the 1,405 firings is expected on Aug. 20. Three hundred people have agreed to severance packages while another 500 stewards and stewardesses have agreed to join rival Air France, reports said.

AOM Air Liberte posted a net loss of 2.4 billion francs ($320 million) last year.

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