This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines customers could be caught in the crossfire this summer as the already acrimonious relationship between management and mechanics appears to be deteriorating.

The latest sign of escalation came Monday, when the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Transport Workers Union (TWU) took out a full-page ad Monday in The Wall Street Journal. The ad screamed “INVESTORS BEWARE” before going on to bash management.

The union accused American’s top executives of adopting an “Un-American business plan” that includes a wish to send maintenance jobs out of the county.

“Our Unions will not be broken,” the ad continued. “We will continue to resist AA’s unacceptable demands even if it means a strike action following release by the National Mediation Board.”

It comes as American and its mechanics continue to negotiate a new contract. The sides have been in talks for more than three years.

Despite the ad, American said its hopeful it can reach an agreement with the mechanics.

“We’re eager to reach a deal with the Association as soon as possible,” American spokesman Joshua Freed told TPG.

As for the unions’ claim about outsourcing, Freed said: “American does more maintenance work in-house today than any other U.S. airline, and would continue to under our proposal.”

But the back and forth comes amid escalating rhetoric, including claims by American that mechanics are intentionally causing delays and cancellations with unnecessary maintenance write-ups.

American had already sued the unions in May, alleging in a court filing that mechanics are intentionally slowing down work to delay American’s operations.

At the time of the suit, American alleged actions by maintenance teams had caused 650 flight cancellations and more than 1,500 maintenance delay since February, affecting about 125,000 passengers during that time.

The feud also has spilled over into social media, where videos have surfaced of verbal scuffles amid maintenance workers. At least one of those was posted by One Mile At a Time.

Last month during a employee town hall meeting at LaGuarida Airport, a local CBS affiliate captured video of TWU president John Samuelsen confronting American Airlines president Robert Isom, promising “vicious strike action” if the sides can’t reach a deal.

“I stand here to tell you — in front of this whole room, in front of everybody, anybody who’s listening — that you’re not going to get what you want,” Samuelsen about the contract negotiations. “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.”

The unions representing American Airlines
The unions representing American Airlines’ mechanics posted this ad in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz, TPG)

Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.