Employees of American Airlines express job security concerns

Wednesday, January 19th 2005, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

American Airlines takes another financial nosedive. The company lost nearly $400-million in the last quarter of 2004.

That's 3 times what it lost in the same period of 2003 and more than Wall Street was expecting. The airline blames high fuel prices.

The airlines are also in the middle of a price war right now, which cuts revenues even more.

American Airlines employs around 8,000 people at its Tulsa Maintenance base. The head of the Transport Workers Union says they have some obvious concerns. TWU Local 514 president Dennis Burchette: "I don't believe we'll have any impact with regards to layoffs or reductions in force here in Tulsa right now, but tomorrow? Who knows?"

AMR's persistent losses mean slipping job security for local American Airlines employees.

The city of Tulsa offered American a helping hand with the Vision 2025 package, but one city's help hasn't been enough to keep American out of the red.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood looks at how one of American's employees is riding out this financial turbulence.

American Airlines has employees all over the city, with several working at the airport. Tom Cunningham[pictured] works the night shift, prepping planes to hit the runways early the next morning. He feels his job doing line maintenance on American's planes is relatively secure. Still, he's not seen any overtime pay in years, even though it's not unusual for him to put in 60 to 70 hours a week on the line.

And he says there are no raises in the future for current employees either. "There is a constant cost cutting initiative to do anything and everything you can to not spend any more than you have to and the company is constantly looking for ways to cut out any expenses they can."

Now Tom plans on retiring from American later this year.