TULSA - Tulsa American Airlines workers learned this week that 400 jobs are still on the line despite a pending merger with US Airways.
In a letter written Tuesday to members of Tulsa's Transport Workers Union 514, union president Dale Danker described a "surplus of no more than 400" airline employees across the board around the first quarter of 2014.
Danker attempted to soften the blow by sharing several options to address the job scare, including opening up vacation windows, personnel re-training options and union efforts to bring a new aircraft, the B767 Retro/NGS, to Tulsa by March.
"As many of you are aware, as the older fleets are retired and new aircraft are brought on board, we are faced with the challenge of dealing with the required maintenance need declining year over year," Danker wrote. "As your new local leadership, we are doing everything in our power to persuade the company to source work in-house rather than continue to source it out."
A TWU Local 514 representative reiterated Wednesday evening the possibility of losing 400 more workers is only that and is by no means an official announcement.
American Airlines, one of the city's largest employers, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, sparking fear among the nearly 6,300 workers in Tulsa. Initially, Tulsa was expected to lose 2,700 jobs, but amid early retirements, attrition and negotiations, the actual number came closer to 450.
But the down-and-out airline rebounded in the following months, completing a merger with US Airways, making the new company the largest in the industry. A federal anti-trust case still stands in the merger's way, however, and is set to go before a judge in November.
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