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TWU Local 514 Dramatically Offsets Tulsa Layoffs

October 5, 2012

(TULSA, Okla.) — Transport Workers Union Local 514 announced Friday that it has been able to dramatically offset the number of airline mechanics who will be laid off in Tulsa. At the beginning of the bankruptcy the Company’s term sheet identified a reduction of 2,700 jobs in Tulsa. After lengthy discussions and bargaining by TWU 514, the number of mechanic and related workers who will be laid off in the Company’s restructuring was reduced to 1,300. Now, with the early outs and members who have left since January the actual number of people affected by layoffs is 443, about 300 whom can move into other positions. Therefore, around 140 will have to relocate or hit the streets looking for new work.

This reduction in layoffs was achieved by Local 514 officials who corrected the Company’s plans, after properly calculating the impact of the early retirements, in accordance with an agreement reached in bankruptcy with the Company.

“We hate to experience even one layoff because we know that impacts one of our members and their family,” said Sam Cirri President of Transport Workers Union Local 514. “But the company originally sought to put over 2,700 of our members on the street as well as outsource the bulk of the work we perform as part of the plan it presented to the bankruptcy court. TWU 514 has greatly reduced these numbers by fighting extremely hard to keep work at the Tulsa base. This is a great example of what we can do when we stay united and fiercely protect the work of members.”

Key reasons why TWU 514 was able to reduce the number of layoffs in Tulsa include:

  • Contractual provisions requiring that 65% percent of AA aircraft maintenance be performed in house
  • Early out retirement opportunities offered through the consensual agreement reached in bankruptcy.
  • Persuading the Company to recalculate layoffs based on the bargaining history of the consensual agreement.
  • Developing acceptable proposals to keep more work in house.

When American Airlines filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court to abrogate its contract with the Transport Workers Union, it sought to replicate agreements reached by other carriers in bankruptcy, in which the sort of heavy overhaul work performed in Tulsa was either completely outsourced or dramatically reduced. If these plans had been implemented, a much larger portion of American’s maintenance would have been outsourced, resulting in the layoff of 2,700 TWU members in Tulsa. Even after most of these layoffs were avoided by virtue of the consensual agreement reached in bankruptcy between the Company and the Union, close to a 1,000 mechanic and related workers were still slated for furlough. However, the impact of the early out as well as Local 514s efforts to keep work in house further limited the layoffs.

For the members facing the prospect of being laid off, TWU will do everything it can to help that person find new work. Transport Workers Union Local 514, has represented American Airlines mechanics and related work groups in Tulsa since 1946. For more information and to pledge support for workers and their families at American Airlines, visit: www.isupportamericanjobs.com 

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