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American Airlines flight attendants say they fear flying on Boeing's 737 Max

Boeing CEO admits mistakes in 737 Max hearing
  • The union representing American Airlines' 28,000 flight attendants said in a letter to Boeing's CEO that they "refuse to walk on a plane that may not be safe."
  • "It is important to recognize that many questions and the fear of working on this aircraft is an ongoing conversation" with the union's flight attendants, the union's president said.
  • The statements were issued in response to Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg's congressional testimony about the aircraft maker's role in two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max plane. 

The union for American Airlines' flight attendants said its 28,000 members working for the airline "refuse to walk on a plane that may not be safe." The union's president, in a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, also said the labor group plans to take an "active role" in the Boeing 737 Max's return to service following two deadly crashes involving the aircraft. 

The letter was issued in response to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg's congressional testimony this week about the aircraft maker's role in the crashes. The executive told lawmakers that the 737 production line was working at a "high rate" at the time of the October 2018 Lion Air 737 Max crash, and that Boeing hadn't cut back its production of the aircraft even after being made aware of a worker's concerns about the plane's safety.

In a letter addressed to Muilenberg, the union said it believes that his testimony revealed "there were serious breakdowns in the supervision of the 737 Max." It added that it has concerns about whether the FAA has the resources necessary for oversight, and said that its representatives are meeting with dozens of lawmakers because the union wants "an active role" in the 737 Max's relaunch. 

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"It is important to recognize that many questions and the fear of working on this aircraft is an ongoing conversation," Lori Bassani, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union for American Airlines' flight attendants, said in a statement. "Our workforce should not and will not come to work afraid for their safety."

She added, "Our lives are not for sale."

American Airlines last month said it expects to return the 737 Max to service on January 16, 2020. 

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