American workers say even if they don't lose their jobs, the future will be tough

TULSA - Thousands of American Airlines jobs are on the chopping block and the future isn't looking bright for employees, even the ones who get to keep their jobs.

According to local members of the Transport Workers Union 514, employees with the most seniority will be spared during this round of lay-offs.

Members tell 2News there is still plenty of insecurity about what will happen next.

"You sit there, knowing it's coming for all these years and then bam it comes," said Del Cotton, a machinist at the Tulsa American Airlines Maintenance Base.

Cotton, along with aircraft mechanic, Gary Elias Have about 50 years worth of experience at American Airlines between the two of them.

"They send us a part, we recreate it, build it, send it back to the airplane," said Elias.

Both are loyal employees who have devoted their lives to the company. They don't think they will lose their jobs but they also don't think this is end of cuts and changes.

"I feel like after my amount of years I'm going to be here for now, but you know with the out-sourcing of the work that's included in these proposals, what happens in two years, four years, five years?" said Cotton.

Both say the industry has never recovered from 9/11, and it's progressively gotten worse.  In 2003 members of the local Transport Workers Union made some serious concessions.

Union leaders say it's taken it's toll on employees.

"We've seen an increase in some of our members in dependency problems, divorce, losing their homes, suicides," said Elias.

They expect to see more of the same in this round of pending cuts.

When all the cuts are finalized, there will likely be older employees with more work on their plate.

"So now you have an aged workforce which will probably be expected more of and it's going to be a challenge to lose some of the younger people and things of that nature," said Cotton.

The total number of jobs expected to be cut in Tulsa is 2,100. That number needs to be finalized through the court system.

American Airlines employees have developed a website to help garner support you can find it by clicking here .

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