Sunday, July 23, 2023
Negotiations Update #28
Illegal Self-Help Tactics
As negotiations intensify, we must be careful on social media about how we talk about negotiations and how to pressure the Company. Under the Railway Labor Act, we cannot engage in “self-help” until the National Mediation Board releases us following a thirty-day cooling-off period. The National Mediation Board has discretion over whether to grant a release to strike.
Examples of self-help include calls to not pick up open time, calls for “work to rule,” refusing to perform duties, refusing to charge customers for buy-on-board products, coordinating calling in sick, etc. It is illegal to advocate for such actions before the end of the thirty-day cooling-off period. Individuals could face discipline, and the union could face injunctions and fines. This area of the law is not fair to workers, but it is a reality we must deal with.
Flight Attendants at various carriers have been terminated for such posts, and the Unions have to fight to get them back, and/or we can get tied up in court fighting injunctions. At our carrier, Mechanics and Pilots have faced legal action from the Company. We plan to reach an agreement and do not need to put any Flight Attendants at risk. We also want to avoid giving the company leverage, so we must fight smart.
We have a path to reach an agreement that involves sending a clear message to the Company that 25,000 Flight Attendants are fired up and ready for a contract. Our strike authorization vote will be starting soon. The threat of a strike, combined with increasing public pressure and the unity of the Flight Attendants, is a proven formula for reaching an agreement.
Remember, wear your Union pin and red lanyard every trip, and affix your luggage tags to your luggage before your next trip.
Your APFA Negotiating Committee
Kelly J. Hagan
Joe Burns, Lead Negotiating Attorney