American Airlines union to Boeing: 'Our lives are not for sale'

American Airlines union to Boeing: 'Our lives are not for sale'
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The union representing flight attendants with American Airlines warned Boeing that its 28,000 members will refuse to work on unsafe planes amid concerns over the safety of the company’s jets.

“The 28,000 flight attendants working for American Airlines refuse to walk onto a plane that may not be safe and are calling for the highest possible safety standards to avoid another tragedy,” Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, wrote in a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

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The letter was written in response to Muilenburg’s testimony this week in front of Congress regarding two recent Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people. Muilenburg told lawmakers that the 737 production line was working at a “high rate” at the time of the first crash in October 2018 and that Boeing hadn’t curtailed production of the jet even after workers made safety concerns aware. 

The union said the testimony made clear that “there were serious breakdowns in the supervision of the 737 MAX," and that it worried whether the Federal Aviation Administration had the resources necessary to conduct vigorous enough oversight.

“I know after two days of very tough hearings you understand the deep concerns that remain regarding the relaunch of the 737 MAX,” Bassani wrote. “The stakes could not be higher. Our lives are not for sale.”

Boeing faces an avalanche of scrutiny from Congress over the aircraft and whether it is safe to fly again. However, it announced last month it expects to return the 737 MAX to service on Jan. 16.