American Airways mechanic charged with alleged sabotage of aircraft amid union dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An American Airways mechanic is ready to make an preliminary court docket look Friday in Miami after he was charged with purposely damaging an plane in July amid a dispute between the airline and its mechanics union involving stalled contract negotiations.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani is ready to seem earlier than U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide John O’Sullivan at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT), the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace stated.

Pilots of a flight from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, on July 17 aborted takeoff plans after receiving an error message involving the flight pc, which reviews pace, pitch and different information, in response to a felony grievance filed on Thursday in U.S. District Courtroom in Miami.

It stated after returning to the gate for upkeep, a mechanic found a loosely linked pitot tube, which measures airspeed and connects on to the flight pc.

A later evaluate of video surveillance footage earlier than the flight captured “what seems to be the sabotage of the plane” by a person strolling with a limp, the grievance stated.

When Alani was interviewed, he advised legislation enforcement he was upset on the stalled contract between the union and American, which he stated had affected him financially, in response to the grievance. It stated Alani claimed to have tampered with the plane to trigger a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of acquiring additional time work.

Unions have complained that American is attempting to outsource extra upkeep jobs, a transfer American has indicated is critical to cowl elevated wages.

A U.S. federal court docket final month issued a everlasting injunction in opposition to American’s mechanics union, which the airline had accused of unlawful slowdowns it stated had devastated its operations through the peak summer time journey season.

A spokesman for American stated the airline had an “unwavering dedication” to security and safety and had positioned passengers on the July 17 flight topic to the felony grievance on one other aircraft to get to their vacation spot.

“On the time of the incident, the plane was taken out of service, upkeep was carried out and after an inspection to make sure it was secure the plane was returned to service,” the spokesman stated. “American instantly notified federal legislation enforcement, who took over the investigation with our full cooperation.”

Courtroom information don’t point out whether or not Alani had an lawyer.

The U.S. federal court docket order final month prohibits staff from “calling, allowing, instigating, authorizing, encouraging, taking part in, approving, or persevering with any type of disruption to or interference with American’s airline operations,” together with a refusal to just accept additional time or full any upkeep repairs within the regular course of labor.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Friday wrote on Twitter that on two days final week he had American flights canceled on the final minute due to mechanical points and “now we be taught an American mechanic was caught sabotaging planes attributable to labor dispute.” He added he needs mechanics to get a good contract.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Further reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Writing by Jamie Freed; Modifying by Christopher Cushing and Jonathan Oatis

Author: Maxwell C.

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