Upon hearing the news of layoffs, American Airlines workers began bracing themselves for life changes and leaning on each other for strength at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Wednesday, Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced its plans to cut 13,000 jobs across the company, in an effort to restructure and shave $2-billion in labor expenses.
The plan is still being worked out, and workers are worried about their jobs like Clarence Tatum, "I just never thought that would happen during my time here. It's bad, unexpected. Come to the big city to live that dream, do the right thing for 28 years, and then that happens. It'll work out. I got faith. It's going to affect me though. I got three kids and a grand baby. It's not good news, but I'm not the only one. The whole American family is affected. I think it's terrible."
American Airlines Flight Line Crew Chief, Mark Gray, started with the company 24 years ago. Gray says, "We thought not knowing was bad, but it's going to be pretty devastating to a lot of the people I work with. We went through this in 2003. I've already been decimated financially from 2003. I recovered from that by taking a leave of absence by going to Iraq. Now that I've fixed that, they're going to do it to me again. I'll probably make it through the storm, but I work with a lot of people who won't, and it's going to be tragic for them, for the community, and for their families. It's not only going to affect the people at American Airlines. The 450 fleet services that live in Euless, the people who live in Watauga, in Keller, the pilots, the flight attendants, the mechanics, and Alliance. If something happens to Alliance, those new houses in the community, it's terrible. I'm basically a one income family. My wife's a real estate agent, but people can't afford to buy houses. I've already been decimated by 2003 I recovered by going to Iraq. Now they're going to do it to me again."
And, Brian Parker, an American Airlines Fleet Service Clerk, has also been with the company for 24 years. Parker has a wife and two sons. His youngest son is a special needs child. Parkers shakes his head as he says, "I've literally spent half my life with this company. This is half the income that comes into my home. I am a father. I have a 15-year-old and 13-year-old son. So, this is my lifeline. I need this job. I'll always land on my feet, but at 48 years old, 24 years with this company, it would be tough. It'd be tough. We did the same thing in 2003 when American came to us and needed concessions, and we gave huge concessions. My part alone was about 33%, and it hasn't increased. It'll be a detrimental blow. I'll be here as long as I can."
Many workers are worried about making mortgages, paying bills, putting children through college, and finding new jobs if they lose their job. However, some analysts say, in the long term, American Airlines will be better off.
However, for now, and in the near future, some Mid Cities small businesses in the Hurst Euless Bedford area, and the like, are expected to notice a change in some customer flow with layoffs.
The workers' unions plan to fight the proposal, to get a better package for employees. Layoffs could come within the next three to four weeks.