Contract ACTION Update
There is no denying it- it was a long, hot summer. Customer demand for air travel rebounded faster than even the savviest airline analyst predictions. While we are grateful for the demand uptick, Flight Attendant’s working conditions quickly became unsustainable. High reserve numbers, high line averages, minimum bidding constraints, continuous rescheduling activity, and COVID-19-related absences are taking a toll on our workgroup.
While APFA was able to negotiate summer pay protections to help alleviate financial loss due to excessive cancellations, we now look to the negotiation process to secure compensation and work rule improvements.
So… What are we doing about it?
American Flight Attendants are not alone in these struggles, and we need you involved! Union organizing is surging, and our Union siblings across the industry are battling similar issues as they prepare for or continue with negotiations as governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). We must maximize our power. Our power is in our numbers, and we fully intend to stand together across Unions in solidarity. Airline CEOs are working together, and Labor must as well.
APFA Contract Action Team Lead Training
Our Contract Action Team (CAT) continues to grow. Earlier this month, CAT Team Lead Members from across the system flew to APFA Headquarters to participate in a full-day training on mobilizing and engaging with Flight Attendants. Topics included how to make the most of the conversations with Members, recruiting Members to the team, and Union-busting tactics used (directly and indirectly) by management to silence and divert the conversations.
APFA extended an invitation to TWU-556 President Lyn Montgomery and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson to offer industry perspectives and share ideas to combat management overreach. Discussions included the extreme importance of unionizing Delta Flight Attendants. Sara shared facts on how having large swaths of our workgroup without Union representation lowers the bar for Flight Attendants industry-wide. Our Lead CAT Members quickly realized that our struggles are shared struggles.
APFA Contract Action Team: What’s Next?
The Contract Action Team continues to sign up Flight Attendants system-wide. This is the first negotiation process where all Flight Attendants have access to what is happening at the bargaining table as it happens. This negotiation process is different. Flight Attendants will not be forced to decide on a Tentative Agreement in thirty days after attending one roadshow. We now have access to proposals from APFA and management as they happen, and every Member must stay up to speed with the process.
Being a part of the Contract Action Team is a commitment to sharing information with your flying partners. It can be as simple as sharing a printed copy of a hotline or offering your Contract Action Team badge backer QR code to help Flight Attendants find the negotiations status webpage. Each CAT Member can decide on their level of involvement with the Team.
Contract Action Team cards on the way to all crew bases!
Your Negotiating Committee has identified your priorities at the bargaining table. The latest Contract Action Team card is a great way to start a conversation by sharing the key APFA proposals currently under discussion. The tabled proposals indicate that APFA and management are in disagreement.
The new Contract Action Team card is shipping to CAT members in all bases, so be on the lookout, and share the information on these cards with your crew.
Contract Action Card (click images to enlarge):
Upcoming Solidarity Events
TWU-556 and United AFA Day of Action: Tuesday, September 27th
APFA is still in direct negotiations with American management, which is the first step in contract negotiations under the Railway Labor Act, during which the parties meet without the assistance of a mediator.
TWU-556, representing Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, recently requested to enter mediation under the direction of the National Mediation Board (NMB) as a result of stalled talks in negotiations. As stated earlier, Unions across the industry and the country face a corporate ideology that stifles quality of life improvements for frontline workers. Airlines have been allowed to merge into mega-carriers, investing millions in union-busting firms. Unions are always the target, but a weakened, isolated Union is always the ultimate goal.
Over at United, the story mirrors that of American, Southwest, and other carriers across the industry:
“efforts to resolve these challenges have been ignored and rejected, while management offers nothing but deflection.”
Please join our Union siblings on their Day of Action at crew bases systemwide. APFA Flight Attendants must offer our support now, as we may find ourselves in a similar position as negotiations continue. Bringing our struggles to the forefront via the media and Union supporters will ramp up quickly as we proceed through Section 6 negotiations.
Airline workers have so much more in common than we have differences. Standing together, arm in arm is how we will build power and secure improvements to work rules and compensation.
TWU-556 Day of Action Information
United AFA Day of Action
Negotiations tools you can use
New to the industry, or do you need a refresher on how Section 6 negotiations work? This video explains the Railway Labor Act and the negotiations process. For more information, visit the ‘Understanding Negotiations’ portion of the APFA website.
If you have not already done so, please take the time to sign up for the Contract Action Team to help our flying partners access pertinent negotiations and Union information.
Thank you for your support as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Union siblings to raise the bar for Flight Attendants across the industry.