Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News
Thousands of American Airlines mechanics and ground workers must decide whether to opt-out of the bankrupt company by midnight on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, thousands of American Airlines mechanics and ground workers will need to decide whether they plan to opt out of the bankrupt company.
Members of the Transport Workers Union can leave now with early retirement incentives or face looming layoffs.
Company-wide, about 1,400 TWU workers want to accept the incentive so far, including 200 or so at DFW and Alliance Fort Worth.
Gary Peterson, the TWU Local 565 president, told NBC 5 that American plans to lay off mechanics and workers at Fort Worth Alliance as they close the maintenance base by the end of the year.
The cuts will start a chain reaction "bump and roll" process where more senior Alliance workers can take jobs from others with less experience.
TWU members can volunteer for the early-out separation and avoid involuntary cuts.
Severance packages start at $12,000 but can be much more depending on a worker's seniority.
The company insists they have to cut 10,000 workers across the board in order to save more than $1 billion a year and emerge from bankruptcy.
TWU workers know it will be turbulent times heading into the holiday season for both union members and travelers.
"We're going down a hundred physical people or so right here, up to 150 mechanics as far as the Alliance facility is concerned. American intends to close the facility by the end of the year, so again all this is happening between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. I don't know how they're going to manage to get through it," said Peterson.
Midnight Wednesday is the deadline for workers to opt-in to the deal. They'll have until Sunday to change their minds.