American Airlines Flight Attendants Could Strike Right Before Christmas

Should no “substantial movement” be made on new contract negotiations, American Airlines flight attendants could go on strike right before the Christmas holiday.

In an announcement from Tuesday, October 24, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) said, “Company negotiators showed up to our last bargaining session in Dallas/Fort Worth with no responses to our comprehensive economic and non-economic packages.” Reportedly, American Airlines said that any retroactive increases would be costed against the new agreement. “This essentially would mean flight attendants would suffer twice—both when flight attendants have been underpaid for years during negotiations and, to add insult to injury, [they] would have to fund those payments out of our wages and benefits going forward,” said APFA.

As a result, APFA National Officers will convene on November 17 to approve a request—should “substantial movement towards concluding these negotiations” not be made—that the members of the National Mediation Board release APFA and American Airlines into a 30-day cooling-off period, after which American’s 26,000-plus flight attendants would be able to strike in support of contract demands.

That would set a strike as early as December 18—a week before Christmas, which APFA says it has planned “for a reason.”

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for American shared, "We continue to meet regularly with APFA and are confident that we’ll reach an agreement American’s flight attendants have earned.” 

Back in August, over 93 percent of American Airlines’ 26,000 flight attendants authorized APFA leadership to call a strike if they don’t receive pay raises. According to APFA National President Julie Hedrick flight attendants have not received raises since 2019; the new proposal includes “industry-leading compensation,” as well as improved 401(k) matching, boarding pay (since employees are not paid until airplane doors close), additional holidays to be included among the holiday/incentive pay list and more.

In addition, APFA will be hosting pickets at airports including Boston, Charlotte, Washington-Ronald Reagan, Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York-LaGuardia, Orlando, Miami, Chicago-O’Hare, Philadelphia and Phoenix on November 16.  

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