Seeking Single Contract For All Flight Attendants Following Merger With America West
US Airways Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), voted Tuesday for strike authorization with 94 percent of those voting casting a ballot in favor of a labor action. Flight attendants are calling on management to finish the US Airways/America West merger with a single contract for all US Airways Flight Attendants. With the strike vote AFA members said they made clear what they are willing to do to push management to negotiate a contract that can be ratified.
"US Airways flight attendants are determined to do whatever it takes to get our long overdue contract," stated Roger Holmin and Deborah Volpe, presidents for AFA representing flight attendants for pre-merger US Airways and America West, respectively. "(US Airways chairman and CEO Doug) Parker and his team of negotiators have failed to address the issues that Flight Attendants believe are paramount for a single contract. Seven years after the supposed merger of America West and US Airways this management hasn't gotten it done. That means pre-merger America West and US Airways flight attendants still don't work together. We may not fly together, but today we've made clear that we will walk out together if Parker pushes this to a strike deadline."
"We don't want to strike. We want to work for a successful airline – but the airline will never be successful when its frontline workers are hurting. Profits are soaring but flight attendants still shoulder the sacrifices forced through bankruptcy a decade ago as well as disparate, industry-low pay of a first contract from 1999. It's a black eye for US Airways and no foundation for a new marriage with American. Parker knows exactly what needs to be done in order to reach an agreement flight attendants can ratify. And today he also knows it could be CHAOS without finishing what he started with our merger first. Contract now," said Holmin and Volpe.
If US Airways management fails to reach an agreement and the parties are released from mediation the National Mediation Board would start a 30-day cooling-off period. If no agreement is reached during the cooling-off period US Airways flight attendants would utilize AFA's trademarked CHAOS tactics to strike. CHAOS stands for Create Havoc Around Our System and includes intermittent strikes, targeted and called without warning to management or the traveling public.
Negotiations are under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board. AFA is prepared to return to negotiations with a focused proposal that meets the primary concerns of flight attendants. The economic improvements flight attendants expect are commensurate with their long-term contributions and dedication to US Airways.