There have been reports that 850 to nearly 1,000 people will lose their Tulsa jobs at American Airlines. "Neither one of those numbers are correct," said Transport Workers Union Chair of Maintenance John Hewitt. The company won't confirm them either even though at least one report claims company officials are behind them.
Employee Jessie Moore says no one will give them a straight answer. So much of her life was built at American. She's spent 13 years at the Tulsa maintenance base and met her husband there. He has 24 years on the job, but she says that won't help him. "It's kind of devastating for us because our area, their going to totally do away with it's going to be out source," she told Tulsa's Channel 8. More says fleet service clerks like them have an option to pack up and pick up at another American base, but her family will stay put which will put them out of work. "You just kind of, you don't know what to do. You talk about it, you try to make plans, but really what kind of plans can you make," she explained.
The union says so many are in the same position, but others grew tired of the not knowing and quit. "There's always fear about working for a bankrupt company will a company be here six months from now, a year from now, they are in bankruptcy. We've had some of our members who have chosen to change careers completely are go to another airline," Hewitt told Tulsa's Channel 8.
Hewitt says others will opt for early retirement. He says company wide, 600 people have gone that route, and who knows how many more will take American up on it. More proof, Hewitt says, that recent reports about layoffs being between 850 and a thousand aren't right.
The airline says a layoff number will be released tomorrow in bankruptcy court. It should happy mid-day Wednesday. American employees have until the end of September to opt for early retirement.