Ashi Sims, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- American Airlines announced Wednesday that it will be moving approximately 230 jobs from Tulsa to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
An airline spokesperson said the move will take place within the next year. The company says it's moving its Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) from Tulsa and integrating it with its Systems Operations Control (SOC) in Dallas/Fort Worth.
This move isn't a shock for hundreds of workers and their families, but that doesn't lessen the blow.
These jobs have been on the chopping block for about a year and a half. But American Airlines employees, their families, and local politicians have been waging a battle to keep those jobs here. And they're still not giving up.
They've rallied and picketed, pled their cases on the airwaves and asked for support in cyberspace, all to save 230 American Airlines jobs.
The struggling airline put employees on notice 17 months ago that they could be transferred to Dallas. Talk of the move prompted criticism from some political leaders, who say American has received $65-million in local and state tax incentives with the promise that jobs would stay in Tulsa.
"We're a family, we're tied together and when you are asked to keep your word to your family, the way I was raised, is you keep that word," said Rep. Eric Proctor, (D) Tulsa.
The airline, which has been dogged by bankruptcy rumors, issued a statement that the move "will help make American a stronger, more efficient airline."
And the company touted the hiring of 500 people "just since the beginning of the year at a time when many other airlines are sending work overseas."
Tulsa's local transport workers union issued its own release calling the news "very disappointing," but pledged to not give up the fight.
It says, "While we suspected it was likely the company was going to go in this direction there is still time for them to change course."
They urge citizens and business owners to call the president of American Airlines and give him a piece of their mind.
American Airlines say employees will have a year to make the move.