The viral video of an American Airlines employee yelling at one of their mechanics turns out to be from back in November.
This not safe for work video is a snippet of a supervisor yelling at a mechanic over writing up items on an aircraft and then not fixing them, because the mechanic’s shift was apparently over. I didn’t cover the video when it was making the rounds at the beginning of the week because there just wasn’t enough context around it. For instance,
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen? (From the accents my guess was Chicago O’Hare)
- What flights were involved? What mechanical issues were discovered?
Now we know more about the video. Have a look if you want but not the profane language going in:
This video became newsworthy – even without additional context – because American’s operation is suffering while they’re in the midst of a contract dispute with their mechanics and ramp workers.
The world started paying attention to the issue once American went to mediation with its mechanics, more recently took its mechanics to court over the slowdown, and faced threats of a ‘vicious strike action…the likes of which you’ve never seen’.
Mechanics have even opened a passenger’s luggage to insert a union flyer.
Things have gotten more heated in recent months, but the issues — largely involving the amount of maintenance work American can contract with non-union workers to do, and the health insurance policy that legacy US Airways workers will be covered by — have been around for some time and so has the slow down. I wrote back in August of last year that unhappy mechanics were slowing down American’s operation.
Since the story about American and its mechanics has really just recently gotten play, and the video of the mechanic being yelled at was just uploaded to YouTube, I think most people mistakenly assumed it was a new incident. Instead it reportedly happened back in November.
“Every time you come down here, you write s*** up, and you f*****g leave,” the supervisor said.
…[Jason] Lopata said, a week before the incident, the same supervisor lashed out at him over a three-minute delay for repairs to another plane.
“The aircraft took a delay. I had a bunch of work I had to do on the airplane. It took a three-minute delay,” he said.
…Lopata posted video of the supervisor’s outburst on YouTube last week. He filed a formal complaint with the airline and the Federal Aviation Administraiton in November, accusing the supervisor of using profanity, and telling him “my job was not to find items wrong.”
“Nothing was ever done about it,” Lopata said.
The mechanic said, because American Airlines and the FAA didn’t take action, he posted the video online and reached out to CBS 2.
The mechanic reported the outburst to the company and the FAA but didn’t get satisfaction so he went public. At issue was “bubbling paint due to corrosion.” The supervisor has been “removed from duty” pending an investigation.