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APFA welcomes 8,500 new members from US Airways
“Today’s decision by the National Mediation Board is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of the AFA-CWA, AFA-US Airways MEC, and APFA,” Glading wrote. “The Flight Attendants of the new American Airlines have succeeded in bringing together a $16 billion company and a 24,000-member union in a way that the industry has never before seen. I want to thank each and every one of those Flight Attendants for the role they played in making that possible.”
Two formal agreements reached between APFA and AFA-CWA paved the way for today’s announcement: an Agreement on Bargaining and Representation and a Negotiations Protocol Agreement. These documents detailed the way legacy US Airways Flight Attendants would transition to APFA membership and the process by which the unions would reach a joint contract with the new company. Both agreements were highly unique and drew on the experience of previous airline mergers. They avoided the costly, distracting, and divisive union elections that have plagued other mergers and put the combined workgroup on a path towards an industry-leading contract. Seeing the value of these agreements, the legacy US Airways Flight Attendants overwhelmingly voted to approve them earlier this year.
The negotiating committee is now in its final days of bargaining. Their goal is to reach a tentative agreement on a joint contract that leads the industry, which would then be voted on by the combined membership. Failing that, the contract will be decided in binding arbitration.