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Union leader criticizes American’s closure of Fort Worth engine facility

American and Rolls-Royce announced Tuesday it will shut down its engine repair facility in north Fort Worth. (FWST/Tom Pennington)
American and Rolls-Royce announced Tuesday it will shut down its engine repair facility in north Fort Worth. (FWST/Tom Pennington) FWST/Tom Pennington

The union leader of American Airlines’ workers at its engine repair facility criticized the company for how it handled the announcement of the facility;s closure.

Transport Workers Union International president Harry Lombardo said the union was not surprised by the decision to shut down the engine repair facility in north Fort Worth but slammed the airline for publicizing the closure shortly after workers were told of the news.

“We barely had time to break this news to our own members before their families read online or heard about it on television,” Lombardo said. “These are people’s lives and futures, and yet American Airlines can’t even offer them the decency of some advanced warning.”

The TWU said it will be meeting with American management about the closure in the coming days about relocation packages for the 500 workers affected by the closure.

Here is Lombardo’s full statement:

“While we’re not especially surprised by the news that American Airlines and Rolls Royce have decided to close this facility, we are disappointed that several hundred of our members will soon be losing their livelihoods. Our mechanics are indeed the best and the brightest, and as their union, we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they land on their feet.

“But for a company that claims to value its relationship with its employees above all else, American Airlines has once again shown its true colors. The company’s management notified us of TAESL’s closing mere minutes before the public announcement. We barely had time to break this news to our own members before their families read online or heard about it on television. These are people’s lives and futures, and yet American Airlines can’t even offer them the decency of some advanced warning.

“Unfortunately, the company’s hypocrisy when it comes to the treatment of its workers is nothing new. For years, labor relations at American Airlines have been deteriorating, and what was once accomplished with a civil, sit-down negotiation is now done in a cloak-and-dagger, back room war on working people. Is this how business is done? Lowering the boom on hardworking men and women who have devoted their careers to a company with no notice, right in the middle of the workday? It’s a pretty callous way to operate, and our members deserve better.”

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