Lawsuit claims airline pressured mechanics ignore safety issues

CHICAGO — A union is suing American Airlines, claiming supervisors are pressuring mechanics to release planes before  they are safe to fly.

Local 591 of the Transport Workers Union says that union officials who raised objections were threatened with termination or even arrest.

American Airlines denies the allegations, saying that it complies with federal safety rules. A spokesman said Friday that regulators have not contacted the airline about any critical issues.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration declined to comment because the matter is under investigation.

The local and four union officials filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Chicago.