American Airlines Flight Attendants Vote to Strike

Over 93 percent of American Airlines’ 26,000-plus flight attendants on Wednesday authorized Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) leadership to call a strike if they don’t receive pay raises. Of those that voted, 99.47 percent were in favor of the strike.

“Today, we sent a clear message to American Airlines management: We are fired up and ready for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril,” said APFA National President Julie Hedrick in a press statement. “Our contributions to the success of American Airlines must be recognized and respected.”

This does not mean a strike is imminent. According to the APFA, the group cannot strike until released by the National Mediation Board and following a 30-day cooling-off period. However, if they feel American Airlines management is not meeting their request for better compensation and retirement, “we will not hesitate to request a release to strike if necessary.”

According to Hedrick, flight attendants have not received raises since 2019; the new proposal includes “industry-leading compensation.” Flight attendants are additionally asking for an 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.

Earlier this year, American Airlines pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association, ratified a new contract, which provides 46 percent wage increases over the duration of the contract. “It’s our turn and we are ready,” said APFA.

American Airlines, according to The Associated Press, said, “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in negotiations with the APFA, and we look forward to reaching an agreement that provides our flight attendants with real and meaningful value. We understand that a strike authorization vote is one of the important ways flight attendants express their desire to get a deal done.”

Related: United Airlines flight attendants are picketing Thursday morning at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, calling for better working conditions. The group is 18 months into negotiating a new contract with little progress, according to News 5 Cleveland.

Additionally, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association will be conducting its first-ever multi-base informational picket on Thursday at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston William P. Hobby Airport and Chicago Midway Airport. Negotiations have lasted over three years and the association reports it is “the last major airline without an agreement in principle and have lost hundreds of pilots to other carriers already this year.”

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