American Airlines flight attendant union turns down pay increase proposal

American Airlines flight attendant union turns down pay increase proposal

American Airlines flight attendants, represented by the labor union, have recently rejected a proposal from the company to immediately raise pay by 17%. CEO Robert Isom made the offer as contract negotiations continue without reaching a resolution, potentially leading to a strike. The airline and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants are at odds on key issues such as pay, with flight attendants not receiving raises since before the pandemic. Despite some progress in negotiations, there is still work to be done according to Isom.

The union has stated that they will meet with federal mediators next week in a final attempt to reach an agreement, warning flight attendants to prepare for a strike if necessary. Strikes are uncommon among airline employees, with the last recorded instance in 2010 involving Spirit Airlines pilots. If an agreement cannot be reached, federal mediators would be involved, extending the process by several weeks.

In a rare move, Isom offered an immediate 17% wage increase and a new profit-sharing formula without asking for anything in return from the union. However, the union’s president, Julie Hedrick, believes that the focus should be on a more comprehensive, longer-term deal with the flight attendants.

In response to the ongoing negotiations, the union has set up a “strike command center” to provide assistance to cabin crew members. While U.S. airline pilots have largely finalized new labor agreements, flight attendants at American, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines are still in negotiations.

In a show of support, a bipartisan group of over 160 House representatives has urged the National Mediation Board to assist in completing deals between airlines and flight attendants. This situation highlights the ongoing challenges faced by airline employees in negotiating fair compensation and working conditions.