New Planes for American Airlines, Some Tulsa Workers Uncertain About Jobs
American Airlines is preparing to fly more new models of planes in 2014. Tulsa workers maintain a model of aircraft that is being phased out. Sources within a local union said that could mean Tulsa could see a surplus of 400 more workers than would be needed.Tulsa workers maintain MD-80s. American Airlines is aiming to use newer models of planes that require less maintenance.Sources within the Transport Workers Union Local 514 said it is uncertain what that means for the hundreds of workers specialized in the older technology.Several American Airlines workers told Channel 8 they had heard about the possible changes.When asked about possible layoffs means for morale, plane inspector Lee Shegog said, "Right now, about the same."Union officials said they are already working to locate other tasks within the company for as many workers as they can."We are concerned and we are acting in the background to try to keep this base full of as much work as possible," said Local 514 President Dale Danker.American Airlines said the possible changes are not related to its attempted merger with US Airways. The deal has not yet gone through due to a challenge from the Department of Justice.American Airlines Spokesperson Andrea Huguely said, "American's operational needs for 2014 are still being assessed as we revitalize our fleet and complete several aircraft modification initiatives. While no final decisions have been made, we will let our people know of any changes at the appropriate time."Union sources said the changes pertain to American's first quarter, meaning around March.Union sources said they encourage local and state officials to pay attention to the Tulsa base to ultimately benefit local jobs.