This is the photo of the “menacing” drawings and words etched inside the oil slick coating of a B747 engine that caused 13 UA flight attendants to get fired. They refused to work the flight after what they perceived as a safety threat. “Given the gravity of the risks involved — the lives of passengers and crew alike — we 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,” Grace Lam, one of the 13 flight attendants, said in a news release.
United rejected the flight attendants’ request to deplane passengers and conduct a security inspection of the aircraft. The flight ended up being canceled due to lack of available staff and UA fired the 13 attendants for insubordination. They have now opened a whistle-blower complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
United’s flight operations, safety and maintenance teams investigated and determined there was no credible security threat. All of the safety procedures set by the Federal Aviation Administration and United were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, leading the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders to deem the aircraft safe to fly. United intends to vigorously defend itself in the case.
OSHA will make a ruling within 60 days. Thoughts?