Negotiations To Resume Between Transport Workers Union, American Airlines

Sunday, July 8th 2012, 10:40 pm
By: News On 6

Turbulent times continue for the Transport Workers Union as they try to negotiate a contract deal with American Airlines.

In May, two of the seven Transport Workers Union workgroups rejected American Airlines contract offer. Now TWU is trying to strike up a new deal with American.

Rick Mullings is TWU's International Organizer. He says it's crucial for the two entities to come up with a deal that will save the most jobs in Tulsa.

The union's maintenance and store clerks workgroups are trying to come up with a new contract with American. The two workgroups make up the majority of Tulsa's American Airlines workers.

In May, they rejected the offer that could have saved close to 1,300 jobs in Tulsa.

"I think there was a lot of anger towards American Airlines," Mullings said. "We saved them hundreds of millions of dollars, and they don't feel like they're getting back what they should get back."

American asked a bankruptcy judge to void their contract and create a new one that does not need union approval. But the judge is holding off while they negotiate.

"If they don't get a contract for the mechanics, then Tulsa gets smaller and smaller until it's pretty insignificant if they contract out that work. We want to keep that work in house," Mullings said.

If the two entities don't come up with an agreement, Rick Mullings says there's a chance the maintenance and store clerks workgroups will lose their contract with American.  

"It would be very, very hard to represent anybody without a contract. We follow just cause. Anybody gets fired, they have to follow the just cause and the union represents them, but we wouldn't be able to do the representing without that contract," said Rick Mullings, Transport Workers Union.

6/22/2012 Related Story: Pilots' Union Agrees To Vote On American Airlines' Offer

"Mostly we're just trying to get everything we can for our members and hopefully they'll be able to come to some agreement," Mullings said.We also contacted American Airlines. The spokesperson told us they did meet with TWU last week before breaking for the holiday, and they'll continue to negotiate Monday to come up with a tentative agreement.