Flight Attendants on American Airlines Directly Appeal to Those Who Will Determine Whether They Can Go On Strike

American Airlines Flight Attendants Make Direct Appeal to the People
American Airlines Flight Attendants Make Direct Appeal to the People

The union that represents tens of thousands of American Airlines flight attendants has been granted permission to address the individuals who will determine whether or not the crew members of the Fort Worth-based airline will be permitted to go on strike.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) had the opportunity to meet in person with representatives of the National Mediation Board, an independent government organisation that regulates labour relations across several transportation industries, last week during a so-called status update meeting.

If a 30-day cooling-off period is authorised, a three-member panel chosen by the US Senate will finally decide whether or not American Airlines flight attendants who are unhappy with their working conditions can go on strike.

The NMB received APFA’s second request in January to be placed into a cooling-off period, but the board has not yet reached a decision and no date has been established for the publication of the decision.

However, APFA had the unique chance to address the NMB directly during the status conference. They sent head negotiator Joe Burns, who was “borrowed” from a sister union, to plead their case.

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“After the meeting, the union informed its members that APFA National President Julie Hedrick skillfully argued for the need for immediate improvements for our flight attendants, emphasised the hardships they have endured to maintain the company’s financial stability, and demonstrated the significant changes in their line of work.”

“We feel that our discussion with the Board was fruitful and that we were able to clearly express our views.”

American Airlines was also had the chance to speak with the NMB in private, presumably to argue against releasing the union to a 30-day cooling-off period.

The APFA’s demands for an immediate 35% salary increase in addition to a 6% pay increase for each year of a five-year deal are one of the primary grounds of contention in the ongoing contract negotiations.

But as of right now, American Airlines is only prepared to give an 11% increase, followed by 2% increases per year for the duration of the contract.

The union feels that its members should be able to go on strike because talks and government mediation have failed in this regard.

99.47% of the participating flight attendants voted in August of last year to approve strike action, but the NMB swiftly turned down the union’s initial request to be permitted to go on strike in November 2023.

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