AFA issued this statement:
Today, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) announced the results of members’ vote to authorize a strike if American Airlines refuses to agree to reasonable contract terms. 99.47% of Flight Attendants voted yes to authorize a strike, with93% of eligible Flight Attendants participating.
“Flight Attendants are sending a clear message to American Airlines management: Flight Attendants are fired up and ready for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril,” said Julie Hedrick, National President of APFA and a Flight Attendant. “Our contributions to the success of American Airlines must be respected.”
Thousands of Flight Attendants picket in twelve cities nationwide today to make their frustration known. Carrying picket signs that say “We Are Ready!” and wearing their red WAR pins, they demand that contract negotiations – which the Company has dragged on for more than four years – come to a hasty close with a deal that honors the role of the Flight Attendant. This new contract should contain improvements to quality of life and a raise in pay that Flight Attendants say could not be a moment too soon, with skyrocketing inflation and a job that is harder than ever in the face of additional work duties, difficult scheduling, and passenger aggression.
Conducting a strike authorization vote is an important step toward striking, as outlined by Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act. Contract negotiations with American Airlines have not yet produced a Collective Bargaining Agreement that includes the improvements to pay and quality of life that Flight Attendants need to see.
If American Airlines and APFA cannot reach an agreement in federal mediation, the union could request to be released into a thirty-day cooling-off period, after which 26,000+ American Airlines Flight Attendants would be free to strike the world’s largest carrier.
With the strike vote announced just days before Labor Day, American Airlines management is on notice that Flight Attendants are joining other workers across the county and demanding change. “It was Labor that built this great country, and now it’s off the backs of labor that corporate greed makes its money,” said Julie Hedrick, National President of APFA and a Flight Attendant. “APFA members today sent a strong message to the Company– we are unified and long overdue for a new contract. We are ready and willing to do what it takes.”