|FLIGHT ATTENDANT DAY OF ACTION
In the first of a wave action, US Airways flight attendants demonstrated system wide over the glacial pace of merged contract negotiations. Over 600 US Airways flight attendants demonstrated at the company’s four crew bases in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.
The flight attendants’ message was united and clear:
- Flight Attendants deserve a contract that acknowledges our profession and the sacrifices we had made over the past decade to keep the airline solvent and profitable.
- It was over five years ago that US Airways merged with America West and yet today, the company is still treating us as two separate groups with two different pay scales.
- US Airways reported the second highest profit in the Company’s history in 2010 – over $500 million. Management continues to receive bonuses yet expects flight attendants to work for 1996 wages.
Pre-merger US Airways flight attendants sacrificed over $150 million in wages and benefits as the result of two bankruptcies in the last 10 years while pre-merger West flight attendants have not had a pay raise since 2002.
Shortly before 11 am Phoenix time, during the picketing event, the Company reacted to the show of solidarity by issuing a communication to other US Airways employees. The communication made efforts to assure other employees that “today’s event was an informational exercise only.”
In addition, the communication stated that, “Our latest contract proposal to the AFA, made on Jan. 25, would increase our flight attendant costs (including both pay and benefits) by $40 million a year, which would be an increase of 9 to 10 percent in the company’s total spending on flight attendants.” Yet nowhere in the communication was the fact that the $40 million a year increase was solely management’s merger costs to bring all flight attendants to the same pay scales, a result that has been expected for more than five years.
In Phoenix, CEO Doug Parker held a Flight Attendant Crew News that was attended by over 120 flight attendants immediately following the picket. Flight attendants voiced their frustration and disappointment with management’s proposals that gutted healthcare; with the slow pace of negotiations; and with management’s recently announced Annual Incentive Program which pays executives lump sum cash distributions at the end of the year if labor costs are kept in check.
SEC Filing 1-21-11 2011 Annual Incentive Program
The town hall ended with angered flight attendants walking out of the meeting.
Yesterday in a Crew News session Charlotte, President Scott Kirby faced difficult questions regarding negotiations and management bonuses from East flight attendants. His answers did nothing to appease flight attendant concerns.
It is time for management to live up to its claim of wanting a merged flight attendant workforce and reward the flight attendants at US Airways for their sacrifices and loyalty as safety professionals dedicated to the passengers we serve on each and every flight.
Today’s demonstration was about raising awareness and unity. We will be organizing more events in the coming weeks. AFA leaders will be meeting in Washington DC on Tuesday to determine the next steps. All flight attendants are unified in achieving a fair contract that addresses the needs all all flight attendants at US Airways.
The Joint Negotiating Committee