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11.18.13b – (LAA) – Press Release – Flight Attendants At American Remember Strike


Flight Attendants At American Remember Strike – November 18, 2013
APFA President Laura Glading: “What a Difference 20 Years Makes”



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FORT WORTH, TX (November 18, 2013) – Twenty years ago today, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants organized the last successful strike in the airline industry and in doing so brought American Airlines to its knees. For four days in November of 1993, while flight attendants of what was then one of the country’s largest carriers picketed at airports, American’s flights departed without any passengers on board. It took President Clinton’s intervention to bring an end to the job action.

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“Labor relations were toxic back then,” recalls APFA President Laura Glading. “There will always be some conflicts, but we’ve found more effective ways to resolve them.”

During the strike, APFA chose a unique path to reach the best possible outcome. Twenty years later, facing the very different challenges of bankruptcy, APFA blazed a trail that Chapter 11 had never seen before. In April of 2012, four months after American declared bankruptcy, APFA negotiated a conditional labor agreement with another airline’s management. This was the very first step towards a merger inside of bankruptcy. The deal with US Airways will soon transform American from a floundering second-tier airline to a network carrier capable of competing with United and Delta. APFA members are looking forward to the end of a turbulent 20 years at their company.
In addition to the ’93 strike and the unprecedented strategy employed during American’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, APFA has been on the leading edge of alternative dispute resolution for years. Said Glading, “Our strike changed the way the RLA is enforced. Nobody has had the ability to strike since, so we’ve had to get creative. Flight attendants can’t afford to lose out on compensation while management drags their heels in bargaining… so we changed the process.” For instance, APFA members are looking forward to expedited negotiations and interest arbitration to help them achieve an industry-leading contract following the finalization of the merger.

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