Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says American Airlines' announcement that it will cut thousands of jobs is unfortunate, but that the airline will continue to have a large presence in Oklahoma, and specifically Tulsa.
The airline announced Wednesday it was seeking to cut 13-thousand employees worldwide. Tulsa's Channel 8 has learned that the number of jobs lost at Tulsa's maintenance base will be at least 21-hundred. Oklahoma's congressional delegation said the number they had been told was 2,850. That would be between 30 and 45 percent of Tulsa's maintenance workforce.
The governor says the airline's communication with employees and her office indicate they are working to preserve as many jobs as possible.
"Unfortunately, however, the state will necessarily lose some jobs during the restructuring process," said Fallin. "Any time men and women in Oklahoma lose their jobs it is difficult for those individuals, their families and their communities. It is also difficult for me. Today is no exception. My heart goes out to those who now face an uncertain future."
"However, many of these employees have unique and valuable skill sets that will help them to continue their careers in aviation and aerospace, either here in Tulsa or at another location in Oklahoma. Furthermore, the city of Tulsa remains – as it always has been – a vibrant, prosperous city with a strong economy."
Fallin says she is confident the plans laid out by American will be the best, least painful and most realistic path forward for both the company and the people of Oklahoma.
"It is important for American and its employees to work together, along with the support of the state of Oklahoma, to make this restructuring process a success," she said.