The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 10, 2012

AA’s decision a blow to Tulsa

NORMAN — The announcement by American Airlines that it will likely lay off almost a third of its Tulsa work force is terrible news. Looking for the bright side, the huge Tulsa maintenance facility will keep almost 70 percent of its employees working.

There is, however, no way to sugarcoat what is about to happen. Losing 2,100 jobs is a blow to the city’s very fabric.

AMR Corp., AA’s parent company, announced that as part of its bankruptcy restructuring process, it would eliminate 13,000 jobs companywide.

The company plans to close its Fort Worth Alliance Airport maintenance base, terminate the company’s four defined-benefit pension plans, outsource “a portion” of its aircraft maintenance work, cut 15 percent of its management positions and impose 20 percent cost reductions totaling $1.25 billion a year on every employee group.

No doubt, drastic measures were needed to keep afloat. AMR reported a $904 million loss in December and more than $10 billion in losses over the past 10 years.

Employees of AMR have made concessions over the years to try to keep the company above water. Now they will be faced with further challenges. If no agreement can be reached between the company and union negotiators, the company could file a motion in bankruptcy court to reject all its collective bargaining agreements.

American is as much a part of Tulsa’s history as oil. Of its 7,200 employees in Tulsa, 6,800 work at the Maintenance and Engineering Center. Most are good-paying jobs.

The decision by AMR will affect more than the 2,100 employees and their families. It will have a ripple effect throughout northeastern Oklahoma. Many small businesses rely on American for ancillary work. Cutbacks at American could force those smaller companies to do the same.

Fortunately, AMR chose to keep the Tulsa facility open and retain most of its workers. That is no comfort to those who face the loss of a job, but it does allow hope for future employment when and if the company rebounds.

American officials are confident and determined to see that the company and its employees weather this storm. As bad as this loss is, we hope that American remains a vital part of Tulsa and the state.

— Tulsa World

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014