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Airlines

Are American Airlines Mechanics Purposefully Delaying Flights?

Are American Airlines Mechanics Purposefully Delaying Flights?
Jackie Reddy

American Airlines has publicly stated that mechanics are working at a slower pace in order to gain the upper hand in contract negotiations that have been on-going since 2015. The airline has just filed a legal suit against two unions, the TWU and IAM, which both state they are willing to negotiate.

American Airlines (AA) says that mechanics are deliberately working at a slower rate in an attempt to gain the upper hand in contract negotiations, USA Today reports. The airline states that this slower pace of work is behind almost 2,200 flight delays and cancellations since February 2019. As a consequence, AA has now filed a suit against the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO (TWU) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

The suit, which was filed in the federal jurisdiction in Texas on Monday, also alleges that mechanics are unwilling to work overtime shifts.

If this slow level of work were to continue into the busy summer season, AA stated that another 2,200 flights could either be canceled or delayed in the coming months.

An excerpt of the suit, as quoted by the outlet, states that, “The odds of this being random as opposed to concerted activity is less than one-in-one billion.”

Offering its official line on AA’s allegations in a statement, the TWU-IAM said, “It is unfortunate that American Airlines has chosen to abandon negotiating with its employees and instead go straight to federal court. The airline is frustrated with the Association for refusing to allow more of our maintenance and repair work to be outsourced to South America, China and Europe. We are also standing strong against cuts to our medical benefits and retirement security. Our members value American Airlines fliers and work hard every day to ensure they have the best experience possible.”

The Association is ready and willing to get back to the bargaining table at any time and negotiate a fair joint collective bargaining agreement, but to do so would take a willing partner. We would much prefer to be at the negotiating table than in a legal battle brought on by American,” it added.

Robert Isom, the airline’s president, spoke out about the current impasse to investors in New York on Tuesday. He apparently urged the labor bodies to speed up their current pace of work and said, “We need everybody pulling In the same direction, and I’m quite confident we’ll get there.”

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. LukeO9

    May 21, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Yes, everybody pulling in the same direction, but with the chief executives being paid 20x the median wage of everybody else.

  2. htb

    May 22, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I think there’s a huge difference between “purposefully delaying” and “not being willing to continuously work overtime”. From United’s account it’s clear that overtime is the norm, not the exception.

  3. h8teralert

    May 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    So just hold the airline hostage then. Seems reasonable.

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