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American Airlines Crew to Stage Wall Street Protest Monday During Carrier’s Investor Day

by Staff

American Airlines Crew to Stage Wall Street Protest Monday During Carrier’s Investor Day

American Airlines flight attendants haven’t had a raise since 2019, when their contract became amendable. That’s rough on cabin crew, given roughly 20% inflation since then. And it’s especially rough junior crew who are the lowest-paid. First and second-year Boston-based flight attendants are eligible for food stamps. Some report being unable to afford gas, and living off of first class snacks.

Negotiations were slowed down first by the pandemic, and then as progress was made, by union officer elections. The union can’t come off on its biggest promises to members before elections are over, because incumbents would lose. And under the deal that US Airways negotiated for the union to support a takeover of American Airlines, union officers got a 42% raise. Officers don’t want to lose their jobs. No officer garnered a majority of votes on the first ballot those elections are ongoing.

American Airlines flight attendants want bigger raises than American is offering and they want retro pay back several years, like pilots (who have far more leverage).

So while the airline is holding its Investor Day on Monday afternoon, flight attendants will be holding a protest on Wall Street. The location is meant to symbolize investors, or something? Plus it’s New York, so maybe there will be media.

American Airlines has offered to match the top wages in the industry, to add boarding pay, and to adopt the most generous profit-sharing formula. In other words, they’ve offered to match Delta. Of course, American Airlines flight attendants would still earn less in profit sharing than non-unionized Delta crew because the airline earns less profit and has more employees to share it with than Delta.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants is asking the National Mediation Board to be allowed to strike. They have a status conference on March 13th. Whether the current slate of officers is re-elected or not, there should be negotiations after the election when there’s less immediate pressure to ‘show strength’ and ‘make promises’ and where compromise might be possible.

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