Executives fretting about labor shortageIt may seem...

Executives fretting about labor shortage

It may seem to the average worker that all the good jobs are disappearing. But most executives are worried about the opposite problem -- not enough good, well-trained workers.


A survey sponsored by Accountemps, the New York-based temporary services agency, found that nearly three out of four executives at large companies fear a shortage of skilled labor by the year 2000.

And some local employers say they are already seeing puzzling labor shortages.


Jim Whiteford, a supervisor at Asplundh Tree Expert Co., said he attended a blue-collar job fair held by Dundalk Community College this week to look for backhoe operators.

He said he thought he'd find plenty of jobless construction workers because of the colder weather and slow construction market.

He met several dozen out-of-work people looking for jobs as traffic flaggers or warehouse workers, and almost all of them struck him as ready to work. But he couldn't find anyone able to dig utility lines for him.

Flight attendants protest AMR Corp. offer

The approximately 1,200 American Airlines flight attendants in the Baltimore-Washington area will set up informational picket lines at all three area airports this morning, to protest the airline's attempt to force them to pay more for health insurance.

The airline's parent company, AMR Corp., insists that it has made a generous offer to the flight attendants -- including a 33 percent average pay increase over four years, and an early retirement offer of $600 a month to avoid layoffs.

AMR has laid off 2,000 employees so far this year, but hasn't laid off any flight attendants, said company spokesman Robert Kincaid.

Mr. Kincaid said flights would proceed as usual today.


Juan Johnson, a member of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants who lives in Annapolis, said yesterday that she was nervous about walking on her first-ever picket line and was hopeful an agreement would be reached before the union's Oct. 30 strike deadline.

The two sides have been sitting out a federally imposed cooling-off period and will resume negotiations on Monday.

But Ms. Johnson said she was "fed up" with the company's concession demands. The average flight attendant earns about $25,000 a year and spends many nights away from home, she said.

"I feel like we are not appreciated," she said.

Early retirement plans gaining popularity

If you want out and are eligible for early retirement, your chances of being offered an early retirement window are rising, if what happened last year at major U.S. corporations is any indication.


A study of 50 large companies by the Wyatt Co. shows that 32 percent offered early retirement in 1992, up from 28 percent the previous year.

"In an age of corporate downsizing, early retirement windows are an increasingly popular way of achieving reduction goals while offering employees choice and showing recognition of their service," said Bill Miner, a Wyatt consultant.

The average acceptance rate of retirement offers was 48 percent.