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Machinists Union Sues Disney Over Plot Of Movie ‘Ransom’

TUESDAY, DEC. 24, 1996

The Machinists union filed a $50 million lawsuit against Walt Disney Pictures on Monday claiming its movie “Ransom” tarnished the labor group’s reputation.

The lawsuit accuses Disney of associating the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers with “despicable criminal activities and gross violations of its duties to its members.”

In the film, Mel Gibson stars as Tom Mullen, the wealthy owner of Endeavor Airlines, whose son is kidnapped and held for a $2 million ransom. Mullen is pegged by the kidnappers as an easy mark after paying $250,000 to a corrupt “Machinists Union” official to prevent an airline strike.

John J. Walsh, a lawyer representing the union, said the movie’s plot has injured the reputation of the 700,000-member Machinists union, which is based in Upper Marlboro, Md.

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