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Federal Judge Prohibits Alleged Slowdown at American Airlines

June 21, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

FORT WORTH, Tex.—Federal District Judge John McBryde issued a temporary restraining order June 14 barring the two unions that represent American Airlines mechanics from abetting a slowdown, including refusing to work overtime. The Transport Workers Union and the International Association of Machinists have both denied encouraging a slowdown, but American told the court that in the 23 days since it sued the unions on May 20, it had to cancel 722 flights due to maintenance delays, a rate of cancellations more than twice that during the previous 14 weeks. “American Airlines should focus its time and effort to reach contractual agreements with its employees instead of falsely accusing them of trumped-up job-action charges,” IAM airline coordinator Timothy Klima told In These Times in May, adding that the mechanics wanted to preserve their health benefits and prevent their work from being outsourced. The 12,500 mechanics have not gotten a new contract since American merged with US Airways in 2013, and talks broke off in April. TWU President John Samuelsen told American president Robert Isom May 21 that if the airline tried to impose a contract, it would provoke “an absolutely vicious strike.” A trial is scheduled for July 1. Read more

June 21, 2019

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