American Airlines union contract decision expected Friday

TULSA - The next step in the American Airlines bankruptcy process could unfold this week.

On Friday, a judge is expected to decide whether AMR, the airline's parent company, can do away with thousands of maintenance workers' contracts.

Last month, 56 percent of the aircraft maintenance and related workers bargaining unit voted down AMR's "last, best offer."

Leaders with the Transport Workers Union have continued negotiations with AMR but the two sides have not reached an agreement.

"TWU has always pointed out that bankruptcy is not a friendly process for the employees," said John Hewitt, chairman of maintenance for the union.  "It's geared toward making hte company come out viable and a lot of times, that's at the sacrifice of the employees."

If the contracts are vacated, about 2,600 Tulsa-based maintenance workers could see changes to their wages and work rules.

Job cuts could still be several months down the road.

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