The battle between American Airlines and its mechanics union just turned even uglier. Now an affiliated union is warning its members not to fly “unsafe” American Airlines.
American Airlines recently sued the TWU-IAM, the union representing their mechanics. AA claimed the union has staged an illegal work slowdown that has led to 650 unnecessary flight cancellations and over 1,500 unnecessary maintenance delays. All told, 125,000 customers have been delayed. American insists the union has attempted to “illegally gain leverage in contract negotiations by directing a coordinated and deliberate illegal slowdown focused on the maintenance operation.”
And American won the first round in court. Judge John McBryde, a Fort Worth judge, issued an injunction against the union, ordering the union to cease and desist its slowdown. The union maintains it has not coordinated a slowdown and that AA is endangering the safety of passengers by pressuring its mechanics to overlook so-called “minor” issues.
Now the AFMA, the union representing mechanics at Alaska and Southwest Airlines, has responded with a warning to its members to avoid American Airlines because it is unsafe to fly.
FAA investigations and CBS News reports confirm that American has been operating under a compromised maintenance safety culture for years with management resorting to coercive practices to suppress reports of aircraft damage. With the issuance of this injunction, a mechanic who detects corrosion must not only be concerned about losing job; he will now be concerned about facing fines or imprisonment.
If you care about your families’ safety, do not put them on an American Airlines flight until this injunction is vacated.
A press release outlines the basis for this conclusion, citing FAA investigations from 2015 and 2017 to allege a culture of intimidation and fear at AA.
Is the AFMA acting in “fraternal brotherhood” as the mouthpiece for the TWU-IAM? Is it instilling fear at the behest of its colleagues at American Airlines? I’m not insinuating, just speculating…
This battle keeps getting uglier with no end in site. A trial has been for July 1, 2019. Until then, look for escalating rhetoric and no slowdown in the delays and cancellations that have plagued American Airlines for months.
Do you consider American too unsafe to fly?