American Airlines has another problem to deal with as it battles the government and its own workers.Gailen David, an American Airlines flight attendant, is in trouble for putting up a series of videos on YouTube that make fun of the airline, reports Scott Gordon at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
In the videos, David dresses up as a woman and acts like an American Airlines executive. In one video he mockingly reads a letter written by an actual exec.
American Airlines is not amused.
David was called into a disciplinary meeting, and his boss told him he would be fired for insubordination if he didn’t show up. David didn’t go, and he refuses to take the videos down.
Here’s what spokesperson Bruce Hicks had to say in a written statement about David’s antics:
“We expect our employees to treat one another with respect,” he said. “While we recognise our employees’ right to express their viewpoints, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to attacking or harassing other employees.”
American is in a quandary. If it fires David, it runs the risk of riling up more of its employees, and taking flak from consumers for not having a sense of humour. Plus, Association of Professional Flight Attendants has already voiced its support for David.
But at the same time, firing him would show that it’s asserting its own policies and protecting its other employees. Still, it would seem like it’s overreacting to a simple joke, and as David points out, he’ll probably be fired anyway as the airline cuts jobs.
A little HR problem can turn into an international PR issue because of the social channels on the web. Whatever American does, the world will know in a hurry.
Check out one of David’s videos below. It’s called “aluminium Lady”:
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