The union representing 26,000 flight attendantsAmerican Airlines intensified his threats to strike during the busy travel period Christmasclaiming the carrier was blocking contract negotiations that include a demand forsalary increase by 50%.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) told its members on Tuesday that it was increasingly tired of “delaying tactics” apparent actions of American Airlines (AA) when the airline did not respond to his requests for exceptional salary increases. The airline and union are currently engaged in a federal mediation process to try to break the impasse on a number of key contract areas, and APFA must demonstrate that the negotiation process has completely broken down before officers crew members are not allowed to go on strike. .
The PNC union set Tuesday at November 17 the deadline for AA “take meaningful steps to reach an agreement”. On this date, the APFA Board of Directors will meet to request a release from the mediation process, triggering a countdown of 30 days until the flight attendants can initiate their strikemeaning a strike could begin a few days before Christmas. “Our flight attendants have overwhelmingly authorized a strike. We will move the process forward and prepare for a strike if necessary”said APFA president Julie Hedrick, a flight attendant based in Los Angeles.
In an internal memo, the APFA said it was deliberately waiting until November 17 to give AA more time to improve its offer and demonstrate to the National Mediation Council that it was not making a hasty decision. “If they don’t have a proposal, we have a deadline, and failure to meet this deadline will result in a request for release”the union said in the note. “We cannot and will not allow the company to use excuses to delay our desperately needed increases. This is why we have set this firm deadline”continues the note.
Earlier this month, the APFA said it was demanding a 50% salary increase for its members over the duration of a four-year contract. American Airlines has so far offered an 11% pay increase, followed by 2% increases for each of the remaining years of the 5-year deal.