Fear, confusion at American's Alliance base

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 7:36 PM

FORT WORTH — There was confusion and sadness at American Airlines' sprawling maintenance base at Alliance Airport on Wednesday. While the carrier has said it plans to eliminate all of its maintenance jobs at the facility, the fate of hundreds of other jobs at the same location remained unclear.

Fort Worth police patrolled the streets inside the American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering Base at Alliance as word spread that the facility was on the bankrupt carrier's shutdown list.

The complex has been a fixture at Alliance for two decades, and employs more than 2,000 people, including mechanic Bobby Mankin, who said he never worried about his job before this day.

He has repaired jets for 18 years for American, and said the shutdown of the base was his biggest fear.

Union officials said under the airline's proposal outlined on Wednesday, American would outsource 1,200 maintenance jobs to other countries. It is unclear what would happen to 500 additional employees who repair engines at the neighboring Texas Aero Engine Services LLC facility.

American offered no timeline as to when it intends to shut down the Alliance base.

It is a somber reality for the workers — some of whom have been laid off before and now face further upheaval.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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