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APFA President Laura Glading: Flight Attendants’ Hard Work has Paid Off
Media Contacts: Leslie Mayo
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (November 12, 2013) – The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing 16,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, cheered the announcement today that the Justice Department has accepted a settlement in its antitrust suit against American Airlines and US Airways.
This is the culmination of well over a year of hard work. APFA recognized the value of the merger plan and executed a creative strategy to bring the deal to fruition. From the halls of Congress to the board rooms of Wall Street, American’s flight attendants convinced every major stakeholder that their airline needed a merger partner in order to compete with the remaining legacy carriers Delta and United. This is the first time a merger has been completed in bankruptcy and it could not have occurred without the support of organized labor and the strong advocacy of the APFA.
“This is fantastic news not only for all the employees of the new American, but for consumers and the industry,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “I want to thank our flight attendants for stepping up and making the case for this merger. Clearly, our voices were heard at the Justice Department. There is strength in unity.”
After striking labor agreements with US Airways management, APFA used its position on the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee of American’s ongoing bankruptcy trial to advocate for the merger plan. When the Justice Department sued to block the merger in August, APFA took to Capitol Hill to rally support for the deal. As the strongest labor advocate for the merger, APFA President Laura Glading was put on the witness list to testify in support.
APFA was a relentless and unwavering advocate for the merger plan since its inception in April of 2012. The turning point of the deal came when APFA forced American into sharing proprietary financial information with US Airways. APFA was the last to hold out on a labor agreement with American following Section 1113 proceedings. American, needing a contract with its flight attendants to establish its cost structure, had no choice but to entertain the merged option when APFA refused to give in.
About APFA – Founded in 1977, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the largest independent Flight Attendant union in the nation. It represents the 16,000 Flight Attendants at American Airlines. APFA Members live in almost every state of the nation as well as several countries and serve millions of Americans as they travel the nation and the world. In 2003, APFA played a major role in keeping American Airlines solvent and out of bankruptcy by giving back an employee bailout of $340 million in annual salary and benefits, for a total of over $3 billion and counting. APFA had been in negotiations with American for almost four years when the carrier filed for chapter 11-bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2011. Laura Glading, a 34-year flight attendant, is serving her second four-year term as president of the union.
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