|Updated: 5/10/2012 6:53 am
||Published: 5/09/2012 10:06 pm
Voting began Thursday morning on American Airlines' latest contract proposal as it attempts to emerge from bankruptcy.
Tulsa civic leaders urged Tulsa’s 5,000 American Airlines employees who are members of the Transport Workers Union to vote “yes” on the proposal, which lessens American’s cuts in Tulsa from 2,600 jobs lost to 1,300 if approved by the company’s 11,500 total TWU employees.
While Tulsa business leaders are urging a "yes" vote on American’s latest contract offer, folks in Miami, Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles aren't as enthusiastic.
“Our base is staying open, other communities are losing bases,” Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, said Wednesday.
Neal says of all American bases, our city comes out with the fewest scars in this proposal.
It won't be easy for workers to swallow though; the company is proposing pay-rate concessions, pensions changing to 401Ks, and other losses.
Still, Neal says this is a good deal.
“We think the proposal is the most attractive that we could ever possibly get and the fewest number of people would possibly be displaced.”
But will Tulsa’s hometown cheerleading be enough?
“I welcome the challenge. That's what makes Tulsa different,” Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo said.
Smaligo says for the last ten weeks, behind the scenes, this is the deal Tulsa leaders have been negotiating.
“I think the people in the Tulsa area recognize that when there's a crisis we're going to come together to try to overcome that crisis.”
Neal thinks he already has thousands of yes votes in the bag from AA’s Tulsa based employees.
“I don't see how anybody could fathom the concept of voting against this.”
Voting for the TWU proposal opens tomorrow and ends on May 14th at midnight.