American Airlines Flight Attendants Authorize Strike With 99.5 Percent Support

The union says flight attendants haven’t gotten a increase all through the pandemic.

Flight attendants for American Airways overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike on Wednesday as contract bargaining has stalled after years of negotiations and employees have gone via the pandemic with out getting a increase.

In line with the union, the Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants (APFA), 99.5 percent of flight attendants who participated within the months-long vote accredited the strike, with 93 % of eligible employees casting a vote.

“Immediately, we despatched a transparent message to American Airways administration: We’re fired up and prepared for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril,” APFA Nationwide President Julie Hedrick mentioned in a press release. “Our contributions to the success of American Airways should be acknowledged and revered.”

Over 26,000 employees would take part if the strike have been to maneuver ahead. Nevertheless, airline unions should clear a number of hurdles earlier than employees are allowed to go on strike, together with a 30-day cool-off interval and approval from the federal board that oversees labor disputes within the rail and airline industries.

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Which means that the strike isn’t fairly imminent, however potential — and the results of the vote demonstrates employees’ frustration with ongoing negotiations. Staff are waging informational pickets throughout 12 flight attendant bases this week.

American Airways flight attendants haven’t gotten a increase since their contract grew to become amendable in 2019. The union has demanded a 35 % pay enhance to make up for years’ price of what quantities to pay cuts, in addition to a 6 % annual enhance into the longer term. They’re additionally searching for higher advantages.

“Flight Attendants are prepared for an settlement that respects our contributions to the success of this service,” Hedrick mentioned final month when the APFA board accredited a strike authorization vote. “Our contract grew to become amendable in 2019, and American’s Flight Attendants haven’t obtained cost-of-living will increase or another quality-of-life enhancements, whilst they performed an important half in retaining American within the skies each throughout and after the pandemic.”

Flight attendants have been highlighting the abusive situations they face on the job, together with the truth that they aren’t paid when the aircraft door isn’t closed — which means that in boarding, climate delays or between flights, flight attendants aren’t being paid. One flight attendant likened it to being at work for 12 or 13 hours, however solely being paid for 5 hours of that point.

Labor leaders celebrated the vote. “Hell yeah, APFA! 99.5% strike vote! Let’s go!” wrote Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson on social media. “Proud to stroll with you right this moment! … Flight Attendants throughout the trade are able to do what it takes to get the contracts we deserve!”

American Airways pilots lately gained a contract after authorizing a strike earlier this yr. Within the spring, American Airways pilots with the Allied Pilots Affiliation voted to strike, with 96 % of membership voting and 99 percent of votes in favor of putting.

As a result of pilots are additionally beholden to federal laws concerning their putting rights, they by no means really walked off the job. However the strike vote nonetheless yielded massive wins for the pilots, who approved a contract earlier this month with 46 % pay raises by 2027, rapid pay raises of over 21 %, and $1.1 billion in rapid funds and ratification bonuses.

In the meantime, the flight service has been having fun with excessive earnings. Within the second quarter of 2023, the company reported earnings of $1.34 billion, with income rising to a quarterly report for the corporate of $14 billion.

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