Union fights to save Red River Army Depot jobs

The fight to save jobs at Red River Army Depot continues as the Machinist Union (IAM) and congressional representatives work to bring in a new repair mission.

If layoffs precede through the end of August, more than 900 federal and contract workers will have been laid off in just the last four months.

The depot repairs and maintains military vehicles, and officials say the key to protecting jobs is bringing in new workloads or even different workloads.

Union representatives have met with congressional delegates in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma in an effort to save jobs and the depot.

Mark Harvey, President of IAMAW Local Lodge 1243, says the fight is not just about saving union jobs, but its about saving entire communities.

Their goal is to bring in necessary work, and stop the dismantling of the depot's highly-skilled workforce.

As part of those efforts, officials have recently been trying to add two new military vehicles to its maintenance line-up.

"If we can get the work here, I know we can get it done. The less people we lose the better we are, but the quicker we get back the people we lost, it's good for us too," explained Harvey.

Some union officials believe more layoffs are on the way, and they could possibly lose a total of nearly 2,000 workers by the end of the year.

Harvey says hopefully their efforts will stop the layoffs and protect jobs for the future.

Earlier this month, base command announced plans to layoff about 300 employees by August 31st.

A previous round of layoffs this year cut the workforce by nearly 600 people.


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