Photo Of The Day

Photo: OSHA Words "BYE BYE" and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Photo: OSHA
Words “BYE BYE” and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

‘Bye, Bye’

The Flight You Would Not Want To Be On

Thirteen flight attendants who were fired by United Airlines for refusing to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong because of a security concern, have filed a federal complaint to get their jobs back.

Before United Flight 869 took off July 14, crew members noticed the words “BYE BYE” and two faces drawn in oily residue on the plane’s tail, according to the 26-page complaint filed Tuesday with the Labour Department. One face was smiling but the other was “devilish,” the complaint said.

The graffiti was written on part of the plane 30 feet above ground, which would have required equipment to reach, and airline officials were uncertain whether it was written in San Francisco or its previous location at Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea, according to the complaint.

The flight attendants refused to fly unless the more than 300 passengers were taken off the Boeing 747-400 and the plane was searched thoroughly for explosives, according to the complaint. The flight was cancelled or lack of crew. United fired the flight attendants for insubordination after supervisors ordered them to fly. Christen David, a United spokeswoman, said all of the airline’s and FAA’s safety procedures were followed in the incident and that the plane was deemed “entirely safe to fly.”

“Our flight operations, safety and maintenance teams appropriately investigated and determined there was no credible security threat,” David said. “We cannot comment further on the details of this pending litigation, but we intend to defend against it vigorously.”

The complaint filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration contends that the workers are protected as whistle-blowers from retaliation for reporting air safety and security threats. The flight attendants are seeking reinstatement, back pay and compensatory damages.

One of the flight attendants said the fired workers “were not willing to bow to United’s pressure to ignore an unresolved security threat even though the company made clear that we risked losing our jobs.”

David Marshall, who filed the complaint as a partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks, said the flight attendants with a combined 299 years of experience were worried about security threats after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March and a Transportation Security Administration warning about consumer electronics the week before the flight.

“Our clients are entitled to legal protection for doing what was right,” Marshall said.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/07/united-flight-attendants-security-san-francisco-hong-kong/21380813/

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