[Fox Business] American Airlines flight attendants ‘one step closer to a strike’ after talks end without agreement: union

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The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents 28,000 flight attendants, said it is “one step closer to a strike” after ongoing contract talks with American Airlines ended Thursday without an agreement.

Union president Julie Hedrick, who is also a career flight attendant, said in a statement that the airline “did not come to the table” with an adequate compensation agreement “after years of bargaining, including almost a year of mediated talks” with the National Mediation Board.

“Flight Attendants will move the process forward to secure overdue economic improvements,” Hedrick said.

AMERICAN AIRLINES OFFERS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS IMMEDIATE 17% WAGE HIKES AMID CONTRACT TALKS

The airline, on the other hand, said it “made good progress” during negotiations over the past week.

“We made good progress in negotiations this week, adding even more to the industry leading proposal we’ve had on the table for months. We look forward to continuing negotiations so our flight attendants can benefit from the contract they deserve,” American Airlines said in a statement. “This agreement is within reach and we look forward to additional dates being scheduled.”

On June 5, American Airlines announced an offer to immediately increase flight attendants’ wages by 17% along with a new profit-sharing formula as negotiations for new labor contracts continue. The negotiations initially began in January 2020, but were briefly paused during the height of the COVID pandemic until June 2021.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said earlier this month the company is “committed to reaching a new agreement.”

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES, FLIGHT ATTENDANTS’ UNION REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

Flight attendants are demanding better compensation after going five years “without a contract that appropriately rewards them” while American Airlines executives receive large bonuses, the union said previously.

“New hire Flight Attendants at American Airlines start at just $27,000/year. Robert Isom’s compensation package is now 1,162 times that of a new-hire Flight Attendant, in a demonstration of corporate greed at its finest,” the union said in a June 12 news release.

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Flight attendants are not free to strike yet as they have not been released into the mandatory 30-day cooling period by the National Mediation Board, but a letter signed by 178 members of Congress last month urges the board to allow the release.

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