Transport Workers Union In Tulsa Expresses Concern About American Airlines Layoffs

Friday, May 29th 2020, 8:08 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

TULSA, Okla. - American Airlines said it plans to reduce its management and support staff by 30 percent because of the pandemic, but a local spokesperson for the airline said it is too early to know how that could impact the maintenance base in Tulsa.

The local Transport Workers Union chapter also said it is too soon but said the cuts could have an impact on some managers in Tulsa.

American Airlines on Friday sent News On 6 a copy of the letter that went out to employees this week.

The letter says American Airlines will be a smaller airline, with fewer routes and fewer flights.

Executives said the airline will offer voluntary options before issuing layoffs. The letter said those impacted will stay on payroll through September 30th, receiving full pay and benefits through the CARES Act.

Transport Workers Union Local 514 President Dale Danker said before the letter went out, he received calls from a handful of managers in Tulsa, concerned their careers would be ending in September.

"He informed me that he knew his career would be overcome September and I asked him, 'What are you talking about?" And he said, 'I know that they're going to reduce heads and I will not have a job here any longer after September and he just wanted to thank me for working with him over the years. And since then, I've had other people give me the same kind of conversation,” Danker said.

Danker said there is still a concern about the future for maintenance workers.

"If the economy doesn't recover 100 percent, and I don't believe anybody thinks it will anytime soon, then you have to worry about airplanes sitting on the ground, or a reduction in fleet size. And when you have a reduction in fleet size, you have a reduction in the amount of people it takes to maintain them -- and that's us,” he said.

A local spokesperson for the airline declined to do an interview but emphasized most of the employees in Tulsa are union, not management or support staff, which is where the airline said it will be making cuts.