TULSA — A “ghost” ad campaign urging American Airlines mechanics and stores groups to reject a labor agreement is misleading and doesn't reflect the sentiment of many workers at the bankrupt airline's Tulsa hub, local union representatives said Friday.
A half-page advertisement featured in Friday's local newspaper urged workers: “Vote No — Save Our Profession.” It's not clear who is behind the ad, which listed several reasons why the bankrupt air carrier's final, best labor offer is no good — including lack of job security, frozen pensions and slashed vacation time.
American, which has about 73,000 employees, filed for bankruptcy protection in November and announced a plan in February to eliminate thousands of union jobs as part of a cost-cutting move, including hundreds in Tulsa. American is Tulsa's largest private employer, with about 7,000 workers.
Mechanics and stores groups began voting Monday on the airline's proposed labor agreement after months of back-and-forth negotiations. In May, the mechanics and related workers rejected the company's labor contract offer.
With the vote by the mechanic and stores groups ending Aug. 7, some union representatives worried the ad could unfairly sway some workers to reject the contract, paving the way for a bankruptcy court judge to possibly throw out the current contracts the beleaguered airline has with its workers.
“It's a ghost out there, as far as I'm concerned,” said Del Cotton, a machinist with 25 years with the company. “That stuff didn't come from Oklahoma.”