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VIDEO: American Airlines Mechanics Threaten Strike

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American Airlines mechanics are threatening a strike – “the bloodiest, ugliest battle” – unless the Dallas-based carrier comes up with a new contract.

In an intense verbal confrontation captured on video and released by the Transit Workers Union, TWU John Samuelson lambasted American Airlines president Robert Isom in one of the airline’s regular town hall meetings with employees. This one took place at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

The mechanics have been without a contract for three years, and it’s getting increasingly bitter. The airline this week filed a lawsuit accusing the mechanics of conducting an illegal “slowdown” at work, to the point where more than 900 flights were canceled or delayed between February and mid-May.

The union is looking for a better contract after having given the airline concessions for years in the wake of the 9/11 fallout for airlines.

Samuelson said that was hogwash.

“I stand here to tell you that you’re not going to get what you want,” the TWU president told Isom. “If this erupts into the bloodiest, ugliest battle that the United States labor movement ever saw, that’s what’s going to happen. You’re already profitable enough.”

American made $3 billion in profit last year.

Isom quickly shot back at Samuelson and said: “I will tell you this, that anybody that seeks to destroy American Airlines, that is not going to be productive. It just won’t. I’ll tell you what, the rhetoric that says we’re going to battle, we can’t live this way.”

Samuelson said he is trying to avoid the airline imposing what is known as “self-help,” a situation where American could foist a new contract on the mechanics without their vote if the federal government allows it.

“If we ever get to a point where there’s self-help, we are going to engage in (an) absolutely vicious strike action against American Airlines to the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Samuelson said. “Not organized by airline people, but organized by a guy that came out of the New York City subway system that’s well inclined to strike power, and who understands that the only way to challenge power is to aggressively take it to them. We’re going to shut this place down.”

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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