First Free Story (1 of 3)

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When I gave two weeks’ notice at my previous job, the boss instead gave me a few hours to talk with friends and get out. It was nothing personal, just business, and the way that many companies deal with departing employees.

In contrast, consider American Airlines’ long goodbye. It’s eliminating 10,000 jobs through buyouts and layoffs, and most of the people in those jobs will stay on at least four months — some up to a year. American needs time to make a transition to outside contractors and new work rules.

How to motivate thousands of short-timers? That’s difficult anywhere, especially in American’s toxic workplace, where labor and management have been clashing for decades. American’s recent contracts include a small incentive to stick with it: Workers with perfect attendance for the last 90 days get an extra six months of travel privileges.