For Immediate Release: January 10, 2008
Contacts: AFA - Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586 or IAM – Julie Frietchen 330-304-8305
Unions Ready To Take On Airline Industry
Flight Attendant Leaders End Bargaining Summit with Strong Resolve
Washington, DC – Leaders from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the International Association of Machinists (IAM), and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) concluded a three-day summit Thursday, geared toward preparing an overall strategy to secure gains in upcoming contract talks. In the next two years, more than half of all flight attendant contracts with U.S. airlines will be up for negotiations or are already in the process.
By coordinating efforts, the coalition of flight attendants will raise the industry standard for wages, retirement, health care, benefits and working conditions for all flight attendants and retirees. For the past several years, airline employees across the industry have sacrificed pay, benefits and working conditions through a long series of bankruptcies, restructurings, layoffs and threatened liquidations.
During this unmatched three-day summit, union leaders met with leading academics, labor economists, consultants and lawyers to outline an initial strategy for this crucial round of bargaining. Recognizing that airline executives are unlikely to agree to significant improvements without a fight, the coalition will now begin work on more specific initiatives and move forward on mobilizing their members in support of bargaining goals.
The coalition will meet again in March.
Over the next 18 months, approximately 46,000 AFA-CWA flight attendants at 18 airlines will be in new or continuing contract negotiations (including those at United Airlines and US Airways), as will 19,000 APFA members at American Airlines, 9,000 TWU members at Southwest Airlines and 12,000 IAM members at Continental, ExpressJet and Micronesia Airlines.