Flight attendants’ union calls for grounding Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes
A Boeing 737 (MAX 8 jetliner, belonging to Southwest Airlines, lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, on Wed., Feb. 27. Southwest operates more 737 MAX 8's than any other airline in the U.S. | Larry MacDougal via AP

WASHINGTON— The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) is calling on the federal government to join other countries around the world in taking action to guarantee flight safety in light of concerns around the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The union is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground the 737 MAX fleet in the U.S. out of an abundance of caution in the wake of a second fatal accident involving the Boeing plane—the downed Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

They are requesting a halt to further U.S. flights using the plane until FAA-identified fixes to the plane can be installed, communicated, and confirmed.

Workers collect clothes and other materials, under the instruction of investigators, at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Tuesday, March 12. | Mulugeta Ayene / AP

“This is about public confidence in the safety of air travel,” said Sara Nelson, AFA president. “The United States has the safest aviation system in the world, but Americans are looking for leadership in this time of uncertainty. The FAA must act decisively to restore the public faith in the system. Again, we caution everyone to not jump to conclusions and not interrupt the integrity of the investigations.”

Following the crash of Ethiopian Flight 302, AFA called for an investigation of the 737 MAX. On Monday, the FAA announced it will require Boeing to make design updates to this plane. But as national carriers ground their fleets and a growing number of countries—including China, the entire European Union, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Indonesia, and more—have banned the aircraft from their airspace, it is clear that a more robust response is required.

“The FAA’s April deadline for updates is insufficient considering the legitimate fear and uncertainty following two deadly accidents involving this aircraft,” Nelson continued. “The FAA must restore public confidence by grounding the 737 MAX until the required changes have been implemented and the public can be fully assured.”



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.