Industry insiders says retirees could lose as much as $1 billion in pension
Potter is one of four brothers who became aircraft mechanics under the influence of their father, an Alaska bush pilot. Jay Potter came to Tulsa in the 1980s to attend Spartan School of Aeronautics. He married a local woman, raised three children, and on Dec. 1 adopted three more.
His seniority and training make him less vulnerable than many others, but he says he's concerned with a general trend in Tulsa and throughout the country of disappearing middle-class jobs.
In the 1990s, Potter said, he earned enough as a mechanic for his wife, Lisa Potter, to stay home with their children. In 2003, when the Transport Workers and other American unions accepted 17.5 percent pay cuts and the virtual elimination of overtime, his wife went to work full time.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber puts American's total economic impact on the area at $6 billion annually and says every American job supports 2.6 others elsewhere in the community.
Financial institutions holding mortgages and car loans could be affected by wage cuts, let alone layoffs or dislocations.
So could the area's fragile real estate market.
Potter noted that "those 7,000 American employees represent 7,000 families buying gas at QuikTrip, eating lunch at Christy's and shopping at Target."
"For every job at American is an entrepreneur, a vendor or a supplier, and that goes several layers deep," he said.
"The fallout from this bankruptcy could be tremendous."
- RANDY KREHBIEL, World Staff Writer
Trash Service: Details on city trash plan to keep coming
Arguably the single biggest issue that will affect all Tulsans this year is the July 1 switch to a very different, more progressive trash system.
The trash board, formally known as the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy, is planning to move the entire city from an unlimited throwaway program to a volume-based service.
Essentially, residents will pay for what they discard.
Each household will be issued two carts: one for trash and one for recycling. Recycling will not be mandatory but will be included in the cost. To throw away more will cost extra.
The base collection will be once a week, with an option to upgrade to twice-a-week service for an added fee. Green waste, such as lawn clippings and leaves, and bulky waste will be picked up through separate programs and involve other charges.
But as the New Year begins, several hurdles remain for the board to get the new program in place by summer.
It still must get City Council approval to go into debt by $17 million to front the cost of the carts. The revenue bond would be repaid through customer cart fees.
The board also hasn't chosen the winning bidder for the trash and recycling hauling contract or set rates. A Tulsa County judge has issued a temporary restraining order until Jan. 23 as a result of a lawsuit, which was filed by one of the bidders, Tulsa Refuse Inc.
- BRIAN BARBER, World Staff Writer
Oklahoma National Guard: 45th's troops heading home soon
After one of the deadliest and largest deployments in Oklahoma National Guard history, members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will come home
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