Tulsa's TWU Local Declines To Take Stand On American Vote - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa's TWU Local Declines To Take Stand On American Airlines' Vote

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Tulsa's American Airlines Maintenance base. Tulsa's American Airlines Maintenance base.
Union leaders took to the podium Wednesday to speak about the offer. Union leaders took to the podium Wednesday to speak about the offer.
TWU Local 514 offices in Tulsa. TWU Local 514 offices in Tulsa.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Leaders of the Transport Workers Union Local 514 in Tulsa urged all members to vote, but instead of making a recommendation, the union local laid out what each vote would mean.

Members of the Transport Workers Union will vote May 10th to 14th on American's latest contract offer.

Union leaders said today that a "yes" vote on the contract offer from American Airlines could save jobs in the city.

"It's a big decision and there are a lot of uncertainties," union member Del Cotton said.

Del Cotton has been with American Airlines for 25 years. He and nearly 7,000 other union members in Tulsa will go to the polls this week to vote on a new contract from American.

It's called the "last best offer." If it's voted down, union members will be forced to take their chances in bankruptcy court.

"Some days I'm just numb," Cotton said. "I'm very involved in this process and I hear all the stories; I help a lot of people with their situations and it taxes me after a while."

"Our members have a difficult decision to make this week," union member John Hewitt said.

Union leaders took to the podium Wednesday to speak about the offer. They did not tell members which way to vote, only saying that if the proposal is approved nearly 1300 jobs would be saved in Tulsa.

"If you're educated you're going to do what's best for your family," union leader Jason Best said. "I'm not going to stand up and say vote one direction or the other."

But other union leaders across the country are speaking out against the offer. Four presidents of union locals in Dallas, Miami, New York, and the western U.S. released a You Tube video explaining why they think the proposal is bad for the union.

"So for those of you that are really considering voting yes, I ask you to really think about your career, your livelihood, and if you might get laid off what you're going to come back to because just voting yes isn't going to save this," union member Gary Peterson stated in the YouTube video.

Cotton says his mind is made on how he's going to vote but he's worried what happens after all of the votes are tallied.

"We may survive this round but what's the next round?" Cotton said. "I still don't know the commitment of the company, I don't know how else to put that."

Read news release from Transport Workers Union Local 514.

The polls open this just after midnight tonight and close late next Monday night. If the offer is rejected the bankruptcy court could decide to terminate the unions current contract.

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