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APFA welcomes 8,500 new members from US Airways
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (September 2, 2014) – In a letter to the more than 24,000 Flight Attendants at the new American Airlines, Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) President Laura Glading announced today that the NMB certified APFA as the union representing the combined Flight Attendant workgroup at the newly-merged carrier. APFA has been representing the Flight Attendants at American since 1977. Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants were previously represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. American Airlines merged in December 2013. Following an agreement between the two unions and coordinated filings with the federal government, the National Mediation Board certified APFA as the bargaining representative for the combined craft and class of Flight Attendants at the new American.
“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.