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American Airlines may cut up to 15,000 jobs

Updated at 2:29 p.m. ET

American Airlines officials were meeting with their three major unions amid reports that the bankrupt airline company is making plans to eliminate up to 15,000 jobs.

Representatives of the Allied Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union, and Association of Professional Flight Attendants were meeting with company officials in Dallas, said Sam Mayer, a long-time American pilot who sits on the union's communication committee. The three unions represent about 54,000 total employees.

"Right now we have no idea what they're going to be asking for as far as pay cuts, work rules, job cuts, furloughs, etc.," Mayer said.

Reuters, quoting an unnamed source who was at the meeting, reported that AMR Chief Executive Tom Horton told the unions, "We will end this journey with many fewer people."

Horton also said the airline intends to emerge as an independent company, according to one of the sources who attended the meeting with the unions, Reuters reported.

American Airlines did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

Mayer added that "just because they ask for something today doesn't mean they're going to get it. The company makes their proposal and we begin negotiating with them. That's what will happen with all three unions."

For other major airlines that wen through bankruptcy, he continued, "the final agreement looked nothing like the original proposal by management."

AMR has been operating under bankruptcy protection since November and is in negotiations with its unions over cost-cutting measures.

Bloomberg, citing industry analysts, reported that American was preparing to offer contracts that would eliminate 10,000 to 15,00 jobs and freeze pensions.

American employs about 74,000 full- and part-time workers plus 14,000 at regional carrier American Eagle, Bloomberg said.

AMR reported a loss  of $904 million in December alone.

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