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AA Strike Authorization Vote After No Pay Rise Since 2019

The union which represents flight attendants at American Airlines will ask members to approve strike action after the union’s board endorsed the vote on Monday.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants’ (AFPA), which represents staff at American Airlines as well as other carriers, said the strike vote was owing to years of negotiations between AFPA and American Airlines without any rise in flight attendants’ salaries.

Voting will open on July 28th and close on August 29th, with results announced the following day in conjunction with pickets at airports across the country. If approved, the strike authorization vote would allow the APFA to call a strike.

Julie Hedrick, National President of the APFA, noted that this movement towards a strike is due to the negligence of the airline, saying that “American’s Flight Attendants have not received cost-of-living increases or any other quality-of-life improvements, even as they played an essential part in keeping American in the skies both during and after the pandemic”.

Hendrick continued that “It’s time for American Airlines management to show Flight Attendants the respect they are due through appropriate pay and improved working conditions. We are ready for American Airlines to bring these negotiations to a close.”

Negotiations between the union and the airline were halted due to the pandemic and resumed in 2021. However, no changes have been made to the wages and work conditions of the 26,000+ flight attendants that AFPA represents.

The union has called for an immediate 35% increase in flight attendants’ pay, with a 6% rise every following year, and for reserve flight attendants to have 82 guaranteed paid hours per month instead of the current 75 hours, as well as a higher 401(k) contribution.

The pay raises demanded by AFPA have been resisted for nearly 5 years now, leading to frustration from some flight attendants directed towards their union. Delta Air Lines flight attendants, who are not unionised, received a 5% pay bump in April of this year.

Although there is a possibility of union members voting against strike action, Scott Keyes, founder of Going, commented that “Nearly every time a strike authorization comes to a vote, it passes”.

Hendrick also remarked that the fact “a strike authorization vote is even being put before our membership should concern American Airlines and those who invest in and fly our airline”.

Indeed, the prospect of a flight attendant strike in the world’s largest airline in terms of fleet size and destinations served should not only concern American Airlines but also the entire commercial aviation industry.

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