Funny or grounds for firing? That’s the question Gailen David, an American Airlines flight attendant who posted a series of videos mocking his employer, is posing on Facebook.
“Be sure to comment about whether I should be fired or not for the Aluminum Lady!” he posted this morning.
His latest video, just released, takes aim at American Airlines CEO Tom Horton. Posing as “Jim” in a Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker parody, the “sermon” is claimed to be from a just-released letter to American Airlines employees.
David told ABCNews.com he used the videos to strike out at management. In one video he reads a letter from the airline to its flight attendants. He called the letter “totally insincere” and said, “When I saw all the people they’re hurting, I thought I had to do something.”
According to David, some of his colleagues have been furloughed three and four times. “They get called back and when American is done with them, they just throw them back on the street. It’s inhumane,” he said.
The “Aluminum Lady” video series features David posing as the “Minister of Flight Attendants.” In one video, the parodied executive, referring to American Airlines employees, says, “United Airlines is offering their flight attendants a $65,000 cash buyout to go ahead and leave, and they’re also giving them 15 years of travel. I say that we make things so unbearable that they’re going to thank us when we hand them five years of free travel and a year’s supply of premium Chex Mix from first class.”
The video pokes fun at an airline in distress. American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 29, 2011. In more bad news for the airline, it announced Wednesday that it posted a $1.1 billion loss in the fourth quarter.
In an emailed statement to ABCNews.com, American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said, “”We have never said we have any intention of firing Mr. David. We want to discuss Mr. David’s situation with him in-person as our contract with the APFA stipulates. So far he has been unavailable to do so. While we recognize our employees’ right to express their viewpoints, everyone at American Airlines is expected to treat one another with respect. We look forward to discussing these matters when he returns to work and is certified as ready to fly.”
David’s blog, dearskysteward.com, says he’s been an American Airlines flight attendant for more than 20 years. He told ABCNews.com he’s been on voluntary leave for the past two years.
Will he ever go back? “I think I’m going to go back,” he said. “I think I’d have a ball.”