THE flight attendants of American Airlines are now demanding a salary increase of 50% over the duration of a four-year contract, in counter-proposal to the airline’s offer of an initial 11% increase in addition to a 2% salary increase for the following four years.
The American Airlines Flight Attendants Union (APFA) initially demanded a 47% pay increase over just three years, but the union says it is now putting off “the ball in management’s court” because it would always be outside the zone of possible agreement. Trade unionists want a salary increase of 50% firm and threaten to strike to obtain it. “One area on which we remain firm is that of salaries”the union said on Wednesday. “When we presented our economic proposal, we made it clear to management that their economic framework was not working and would not work.”
American Airlines initially offered Delta Air Linesincluding boarding allowance as well as participation increased profits, an increase in compensation training and an increase in retirement contributions. The initial salary increase would be 11%, followed by increases of 2% for each of the remaining years of the 5-year agreement. Flight attendants demanded an initial 35% raise and annual raises of 6% in future years. They reduced their demand to 33% initially, and increased by 5% thereafter, representing a 50% increase over 4 years.
A strike notice would need to be approved by the National Mediation Council, which would need to be satisfied that both sides are at an impasse in negotiations with no hope of resolving their differences. In the meantime, however, the union has called another nationwide picket on November 16, during which flight attendants will display the controversial slogan “We are ready”; “We Are Ready” for WAR (War in English).