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Negotiations

(2.10.24) While this week focused on narrowing issues, our overall focus is our upcoming meeting with the National Mediation Board in March in which we will argue our case for a release. We are in the final stage of negotiations. APFA President Julie Hedrick has submitted our second request to the National Mediation Board to be released. You may read President Hedrick’s letter to the National Mediation Board here.

The National Mediation Board has set a status conference, at the request of APFA, to directly hear from APFA on why we believe that we should be released into a thirty-day cooling-off period. The three members of the National Mediation Board will hear from APFA on the morning of March 13, 2024.

All APFA Flight Attendants should be preparing for a possible strike at American Airlines. A strike booklet with more information will be mailed to your home in the coming weeks.

Q&A: National Mediation Board (NMB) & Railway Labor Act (RLA)

The NMB is a U.S. government agency responsible for mediating labor disputes in the airline and railway industries. It plays a key role in facilitating negotiations between labor unions and airline management.

The federal mediator initially works with both parties to encourage dialogue and find common ground. The mediator does not have the authority to impose a settlement but aims to assist the parties in reaching a voluntary agreement. A request for release to the NMB is made by a labor union when negotiations with an airline reach an impasse. The request for a release is the union making the argument to the NMB that we are at impasse and should be released to strike. The decision however is up to the NMB.

If the NMB grants the release, a 30-day "cooling-off" period begins. During this period, a federal mediator from the NMB assists in negotiations. If an agreement is reached, it is subject to ratification by the Union members. If no agreement is reached, the process may proceed to further stages, including the possibility of self-help measures after the end of the cooling-off period.

If the NMB denies the release, the parties remain in mediation, and negotiations continues. If the company does not change its position, we will keep pushing for our statutory right to strike.

Related Hotlines:
1.25.24 – Negotiations Update #48: NMB Status Conference
1.19.24 – Negotiations Update #47: Mediation Release Request
11.28.23 – Negotiations Update #42: NMB Denies Request for Release
11.20.23 – Negotiations Update #40: Mediation Release Request, Next Steps and Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we have scheduled negotiations dates in February 2024

The NMB reviews the request and, if granted, initiates a 30-day "cooling-off" period. Federal mediators, from the NMB, have already been assigned to assist in facilitating negotiations between the Union and the airline.

Related Hotlines:
1.25.24 – Negotiations Update #48: NMB Status Conference
1.19.24 – Negotiations Update #47: Mediation Release Request
11.28.23 – Negotiations Update #42: NMB Denies Request for Release
11.20.23 – Negotiations Update #40: Mediation Release Request, Next Steps and Frequently Asked Questions

We anticipate continuing negotiations while we wait to hear back from the NMB, and it is possible that we could reach an agreement with management. However, this is not likely, given management's lack of movement at recent negotiation sessions.

The timeline can vary and there is no set duration. It depends on factors such as the complexity of the case and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. The process may involve several stages including mediation, a cooling-off period, and the potential involvement of a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB).

As you will notice, the letter requests a “proffer of arbitration” which is the actual wording the Railway Labor Act uses. Under the RLA, the Board proffers arbitration to both parties and when it is rejected that releases the parties into a thirty-day cooling off period. We, of course, have zero interest in arbitrating our contract and believe we need a strike deadline to force the company to settle this dispute.

Under the Railway Labor Act, once we are in mediation the NMB sets the timing and location of negotiations. Additionally, the ball is in the Company’s court so they can settle this contract at any point by passing a proposal which meets our needs.

No, we can only participate in a job action against the company after the 30-day cooling-off period has expired. Any job action prior would be considered illegal, and involved employees would face discipline and the Union could be held liable for any financial impact to the company. It is important to follow the direction of the Union during this critical time. Read Negotiations Update #28: Illegal Self-Help Tactics for more information

The company runs at record load factors almost every day of the year. In years past, there was an obvious high and low season. That is no longer the case. While it may seem more impactful during the holidays, the potential financial impact against the company will be just as significant once released.

Under the RLA, we must request a "proffer for arbitration." However, one or both parties can agree to the arbitration request, which would begin a 30-day cooling off period. APFA has no intention of agreeing to binding arbitration.

Flight Attendants fall under the RLA because the RLA covers employees engaged in the transportation industry, including airlines.

Most private sector workers are covered under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under the NLRA workers are able to strike once the contract expires. So recently auto workers and Hollywood actors and writers were able to strike without permission of the government. Airline and rail workers are governed by the RLA which has additional hoops we must go through before exercising our right to strike.

Negotiations Process Videos

APFA Requests Release from NMB

Why Do Negotiations Take So Long?

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Federal Mediation Begins

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The Importance of Being Dues Current

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Securing the Contract We Have Earned

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99.47% of participating Flight Attendants voted yes to authorize a strike!

“Today, we sent a clear message to American Airlines management: We are fired up and ready for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril. Our contributions to the success of American Airlines must be recognized and respected.”
— APFA National President Julie Hedrick

Management now sees 26,000+ of us standing behind our Negotiating Committee. Thank you for taking the time to vote. Thank you to our fellow American employees and Union Siblings across airlines, occupations, and industries who joined our picket lines today. The #SolidaritySummer continues!

Read the August 30, 2023 Results Announcement Here

99.47% of participating Flight Attendants voted yes to authorize a strike!

“Today, we sent a clear message to American Airlines management: We are fired up and ready for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril. Our contributions to the success of American Airlines must be recognized and respected.”
— APFA National President Julie Hedrick

Management now sees 26,000+ of us standing behind our Negotiating Committee. Thank you for taking the time to vote. Thank you to our fellow American employees and Union Siblings across airlines, occupations, and industries who joined our picket lines today. The #SolidaritySummer continues!

Read the August 30, 2023 Results Announcement Here

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Negotiations Town Hall Videos

Negotiations Hotlines

2.10.24 – Negotiations Update #49 / Strike Preparation / Day of Action

This week in negotiations, we further narrowed the issues, focusing on Deadheading and certain issues in Scheduling. We agreed on some Deadheading provisions that will allow Flight Attendants to self-book alternative deadhead travel

Continue Reading

2.06.24 – Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action: February 13, 2024

On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, Flight Attendants across the industry will picket in uniform at more than 30 worldwide airports to demand that management get serious about negotiating fair Flight Attendant contracts.

Continue Reading

1.25.24 – Negotiations Update #48: NMB Status Conference

Last week, APFA National President Julie Hedrick submitted a letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) stating that contract negotiations are at an impasse and Flight Attendants should be free to strike American Airlines.

Continue Reading

1.19.24 – Negotiations Update #47: Mediation Release Request

This week, APFA National President Julie Hedrick submitted a request to the National Mediation Board (NMB) stating that contract negotiations are at an impasse and Flight Attendants should be free to strike American Airlines.

Continue Reading

1.19.24 – American Airlines Flight Attendants Make Second Request For Release From Mediation

EULESS, Texas (January 19, 2024) – Today, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing more than 27,000 Flight Attendants at American Airlines are requesting a release from mediation for a second time.

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1.16.24 – Negotiations Update #46: Bargaining Update

On November 20th, APFA submitted a request to the National Mediation Board (NMB) to be released into 30-day cooling-off period. The NMB did not approve our request and ordered the parties to continue mediated talks.

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12.18.23 – Negotiations Update #45: Bargaining Update

Your APFA Negotiations team met in federally supervised mediation in Tampa, Florida, December 12th-14th. As we have previously reported, once we are in federal mediation, the timing and location of negotiations are controlled by the federal mediators.

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12.09.23 – Negotiations Update #44: Negotiations Continue Next Week

Bargaining will continue December 12th to 14th in Tampa, Florida, a location chosen by the Federal Mediators. The National Mediation Board recently determined that more bargaining was warranted and did not approve our request

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2.10.24 – Negotiations Update #49 / Strike Preparation / Day of Action

This week in negotiations, we further narrowed the issues, focusing on Deadheading and certain issues in Scheduling. We agreed on some Deadheading provisions that will allow Flight Attendants to self-book alternative deadhead travel

Continue Reading

2.06.24 – Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action: February 13, 2024

On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, Flight Attendants across the industry will picket in uniform at more than 30 worldwide airports to demand that management get serious about negotiating fair Flight Attendant contracts.

Continue Reading

1.25.24 – Negotiations Update #48: NMB Status Conference

Last week, APFA National President Julie Hedrick submitted a letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) stating that contract negotiations are at an impasse and Flight Attendants should be free to strike American Airlines.

Continue Reading

Take ACTION, standing shoulder to shoulder to support our Negotiating Committee and OUR Contract.

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Take ACTION, standing shoulder to shoulder to support our Negotiating Committee and OUR Contract.

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Negotiating Committee

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Negotiations Attorney

Joe Burns

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Chairperson

Julie Hedrick
APFA National President
LAX

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Negotiator 1

Reese Cole
ORD

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Negotiator 2

Susan Wroble
ORD

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Negotiator 3

Kelly J. Hagan
ORD

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Negotiator 4

Timothy Legeros
MIA

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Negotiator 5

Brian Morgan
PHL

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Negotiator 6

Wendy Oswald
LAX

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Financial Planning Seminar

March 7 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

2024 BOD Convention

March 19 @ 9:00 am - March 21 @ 5:00 pm

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Financial Planning Seminar

March 7 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

2024 BOD Convention

March 19 @ 9:00 am - March 21 @ 5:00 pm

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Financial Planning Seminar

March 7 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

2024 BOD Convention

March 19 @ 9:00 am - March 21 @ 5:00 pm
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