Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
American Airlines begins furloughing 19,000 employees , CEO says
topical

American Airlines begins furloughing 19,000 employees , CEO says

{{featured_button_text}}

No one has to tell Dale Danker about the toll the aviation downturn has had on Tech Ops-Tulsa, American Airlines’ maintenance facility in town.

The union representative sees it every day.

“I’ve been walking the base and it’s emotional when a guy will come up and give you a hug and say, ‘Dale, thank you for all you’re doing for us and keep up the fight,’” said Danker, president of Transport Workers Union Local 514.

“Then, you walk five or six more feet and you run into a guy who has a tough time talking because he’s emotional and has just uprooted his family and brought them to a place that he has no one and nobody, and now he’s getting laid off.”

Saying it can’t afford to continue operations at its current pace, American Airlines said it would begin furloughing 19,000 employees.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker made the announcement Wednesday night in a letter to employees.

The airlines’ move coincides with the Oct. 1 expiration of the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act. Congress is working on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that would include an extension of the PSP.

If efforts to extend PSP in the next few days are successful, Parker said American would reverse its furlough process and recall any affected workers.

Between Tech Ops-Tulsa and Tulsa International Airport, about 180 employees will be furloughed in Tulsa, an American spokeswoman said. Danker said an additional 325 local employees are leaving via an early-out program.

Tech-Ops Tulsa employs about 5,000 people, 600 of whom were added last year. The facility conducts maintenance work for its mainline aircraft.

“People are worn out from COVID,” Danker said. “Guys are trying to wear their masks, but it’s hard to wear your mask when you wear safety glasses and work.

“Your safety glasses fog up all the time. Guys are out there trying to do their jobs, struggling with all this (crap).”

The largest maintenance commercial aviation maintenance facility in the world, Tech Ops-Tulsa has 3.3 million square feet of hangar and shop space and sits on 330 acres.

“It’s affecting people even if you’re not on that one extreme or the other,” Danker said. “You work with those folks and sit in the break room and you notice. It’s always tough no matter what industry you’re in.

“You have to go find another job when there’s not another job to find.”


Video: The pandemic’s impact on airlines

Gallery: Inside the largest world’s largest aircraft maintenance facility

Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395

rhett.morgan@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @RhettMorganTW

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The business news you need

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News