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At D/FW Airport, American Airlines Workers Protest Over Salary, Outsourcing

American Airlines
American Airlines' transport and ground workers worry about outsourcing. The airline says it looks forward to reaching an agreement soon.

More than 1,000 American Airlines employees picketed the world’s largest carrier Wednesday at D-FW International Airport.

Transport and ground workers are worried about job security. The Transport Workers Union and the International Association of Machinists represent more than 30,000 mechanics and ground workers.

They’ve gone without a new contract for nearly two years while other groups negotiated new deals since the airline came out of bankruptcy.

Transport and ground workers worry about outsourcing. They say a $100 million maintenance facility will be built in Brazil and staffed by foreign workers, including many uncertified by the FAA.

Helped by a bankruptcy restructuring, less competition, lower fuel prices and new leadership, American Airlines Group Inc. earned $2.7 billion last year.


"They are not going to hoard it all to themselves," said John Samuelson, president of the Transport Workers Union. "The TWU work force is going to get their fair share in this contract negotiation."


American’s Matt Miller says the company recognizes the right to demonstrate.

“American is incredibly thankful for our skilled and well-trained ... team,” Miller said. “We have a shared goal with the TWU-IAM association to make sure our team members are well compensated and that they work for a company that values them immensely.”

Miller said the airline looks forward to reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

Negotiations continue next month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.