The Tulsa Metro Chamber and regional and state partners announced a unified effort to retain American Airlines' operations in Tulsa.
Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, City of Tulsa, Tulsa Metro Chamber, Tulsa County, area municipalities, Transport Workers Union of American #514, Oklahoma AFL-CIO, Oklahoma's federal delegation and regional legislative delegation pledged support to American Airlines MRO-Tulsa as the reorganization progresses.
The goal is to find the best outcome for northeastern Oklahoma, and the region's strong aerospace industry, which represents more than 100 businesses and 30,000 employees. The aerospace industry also has a great economic impact, statewide.
Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez says, "The aerospace industry in our state includes more than 1,000 aerospace companies and jobs for more than 100,000 Oklahomans. But it's also important to remember those aerospace jobs are people. In addition to the economic impact, the human impact on friends and neighbors also compel us to work together to work with American Airlines to achieve the best outcome possible for everyone affected."
The Chamber's Tulsa's Future initiative acknowledges the importance of the aerospace sector to growing and retaining existing jobs in our region. The industry impacts scores of businesses and thousands of jobs throughout our region.
"There is phenomenal cooperation on behalf of many groups and individuals in this effort to maintain the operations of this valued business and employer." said Stuart Solomon, Tulsa's Future chair and president and COO of Public Service Company of Oklahoma.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett added, "This is not a time for us versus them. American Airlines is an icon in Tulsa's past, present and future. We're all in this one together, and together we'll work this out for Tulsa."
American Airlines’ employee of ten years, John Bell, is still concerned about his job security even after hearing about this new coalition of politicians.
“I wish something more would have been done sooner,” said Bell. “I feel like this is at the 11th hour. These things don’t just happen over night and we have been talking about this for months. We would like to have seen more participation from the higher up people from earlier on.”
Bell said his 14-year-old daughter asks him if he will lose his job.
“She should never have to worry about my job.”
He hopes the city and state support makes a difference to AMR.
“I hope they didn’t wait to late to jump on the band wagon,” said Bell. “We are going to stay hopeful and hope they do the right thing and hope we all have jobs.”