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American Airlines Flight Attendants Make Direct Appeal to the People Who Will Decide if They Can Go On Strike

American Airlines Flight Attendants Make Direct Appeal to the People Who Will Decide if They Can Go On Strike

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The union which represents tens of thousands of flight attendants at American Airlines has been allowed to make a direct appeal to the people who will decide if crew members at the Fort Worth-based carrier will be allowed to go on strike.

During a so-called status update meeting last week, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) got to meet face-to-face with members of the National Mediation Board – an independent government agency that oversees labor relations throughout different transport industries.

A three-member panel appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the Senate will ultimately get to determine whether disgruntled flight attendants at American Airlines will be allowed to go on strike by approving a release to a 30-day cooling off period.

APFA submitted its second request to the NMB in January be released into a cooling period but the board is yet to make a decision and no timeline has been set for when a verdict will be published.

During the status meeting, however, APFA had the rare opportunity to present their case directly to the NMB, sending lead negotiating attorney Joe Burns, who has been ‘borrowed’ from a sister union.

“APFA National President Julie Hedrick eloquently pressed the case that our Flight Attendants need improvements now, reiterated the sacrifices made by Flight Attendants to keep this company solvent, and illustrated the fact that this job has changed dramatically,” the union told its members following the meeting.

“We believe we had a productive conversation with the Board and the ability to directly state our position.”

American Airlines was also given the opportunity to privately address the NMB, presumably to state the case for why it thinks the union shouldn’t be released to a 30-day cooling-off period.

One of the main sticking points in stalled contract talks is over pay and APFA’s demands for an immediate 35% pay raise, along with a 6% pay raise for each year of a five-year contract.

American Airlines, however, is currently only willing to offer an 11% raise and then 2% each year for the length of the contract.

The union believes that negotiations and federal mediation in this area have failed, and its members should be allowed to go on strike.

Last August, 99.47% of participating flight attendants voted in favor of authorizing strike action, although the NMB quickly rejected the union’s first request to be allowed to go on strike in November 2023.

View Comments (7)
  • If they ask me, I’d say they should be banned from striking unless they specify the flight and day that the strike will take place 60 days ahead of time and have a provision that if they announce the flight will be subject to a strike, they will automatically not get paid, even if they change their mind and not strike.

    Reliability of flight schedules is important.

    • Totally agree with you Derek. And if you happen to have flight reservations during the decided strike period
      American should reimburse you the cost of your flight.

    • So you’re saying they should be banned from striking. No need to mention all of that other nonsense. Flight attendants are paid so little and American Airlines announces record profits every quarter while still paying them pennies. Reliability of FA’s to be able to make a living wage is important too. If you don’t let them strike then AA will have all of the leverage.

    • Are you dumb?
      The whole purpose of a strike is to disrupt operations. If a strike happens there will be no reliability of flight schedules.

  • If they want to go on strike, they should do it. But none of this ‘sick out’ or other partial strike BS. You all go out on the same day and you stay out until the terms are agreed to (or more likely, you fold like a cheap suit). Then the passengers can all move to other airlines, further damaging any chance you have of keeping your job even you do settle.

  • As a FA who has worked for several airlines and now work at the fore mentioned airline without a contract for more than 10 years not even a 1 cent raise to offset the high cost of living I still come to work and do what is expected of me; I am never late, I provide the best service with the tools I am given and do so all the while I perform my job without being DISGRUNTLED…so Matt try and not use broad terms to describe all of us…
    It’s prejudicial.

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