Tulsa Area Leaders Urge TWU Local To Take American Airlines' Offer
TULSA, Oklahoma - Local union members are considering new developments in the American Airlines bankruptcy plan.
Union members will begin voting Thursday at midnight on whether to accept Americans' last offer. It could save jobs, but there are differing opinions on how members should vote.
Earlier Wednesday, Tulsa union leaders explained this last offer, but didn't suggest which way members should vote.
The Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, however, is very vocal about its stance.
Flanked by elected and economic leaders, the Tulsa Metro Chamber pushed for union members to accept American Airlines' offer.
Americans' last offer would retain nearly 6,000 of the 7,200 jobs at Tulsa's maintenance base.
"The writing is on the wall that there is going to have to be some change in Americans' structure and we want to do the best we can to make it the least painful process as we can," Owasso Mayor Doug Bonebrake.
The chamber presidents for Owasso and Tulsa say retaining every job we can in our region is the priority.
"The 1300 that may be outsourced now, we're optimistic that they can be employed by other local companies, others in the airspace industry," said Mike Neal with the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
National union leaders are very aware that four other union leaders across the country have spoken out against the offer.
"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 said in a YouTube video.
American is Tulsa's largest private employer. Mayor Dewey Bartlett says he knows what's at stake.
"We must not lose sight of the fact that when we talk about a job, we're talking about a family," Dewey said.
He says this last offer truly is their best chance. Otherwise, union members are at the mercy of the bankruptcy court, which could result in an even harsher reality for Tulsa's base.
Union members can start voting at midnight tonight through Monday night.