Strike

Flight Attendants Take Historic Action Together for Fair Contracts Covering 100,000 Crewmembers

Flight Attendants from multiple airlines and three unions rally at more than 30 airports worldwide for record contracts

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — On February 13, thousands of Flight Attendants from Alaska, Air Wisconsin, United, American, Southwest, Frontier and more, picketed outside more than 30 airports worldwide.

Flight Attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), Transportation Workers Union (TWU) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) joined forces in this historic protest. They are took action together to push common demands to significantly improve Flight Attendant contracts and careers. 100,000 Flight Attendants at airlines across the industry are currently in contract negotiations.

“Flight Attendants are fighting corporate greed and demanding our jobs make it possible to live a good life. Working people in every job and every industry can relate and we feel the people with us, ” said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President, representing 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 airlines including United, Air Wisconsin and Alaska. “Our work brings people together from every part of the planet and showcases the strength of our diversity within our solidarity. We’re making history by standing together as one to make the airlines compete to the highest standards for our careers.”

Airlines returned to strong profitability post-pandemic, and 2024 is projected to see the highest volume of air travel in history. During the pandemic recovery Flight Attendants have dealt with skyrocketing cases of disruptive and violent passenger behavior, as well as short-staffing and operational issues that led to some of the most challenging working conditions in the industry’s history. New contracts are overdue and many Flight Attendants haven’t had a raise in years.

“Flight Attendants are speaking with one voice,” said Julie Hedrick, President of APFA representing 27,000 Flight Attendants at American. “We’re telling management to stop playing games and negotiate the contracts that we’ve earned. Wall Street is doing well. Management is doing well. It’s time for Flight Attendants to get a fair share of the value we create, and workplace rules that reflect the realities of today’s industry.”

Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders who perform critical health and safety duties—from responding to medical emergencies, to de-escalating conflict, or fighting fires.

“Everyone recognizes just how important our work is when dangerous situations arise,” said Lyn Montgomery, President of TWU 556 representing 21,000 Flight Attendants at Southwest. “Whether it’s a disruptive passenger, an on-board medical emergency, or mechanical failures, passengers know we keep them safe on board and they’re behind our contract demands for fair pay for good reason.” Across the country, Flight Attendants were joined by allies from labor unions including the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and many other unions and members of the public.

Recently, Flight Attendants at American, Air Wisconsin, and Southwest all voted nearly unanimous strike authorizations, and Alaska Flight Attendants joined with the release of their strike vote results today. More strike votes at other airlines and efforts to secure strike deadlines are expected if contracts are not reached in the near term.

“This industry doesn’t fly without us,” said the three union presidents. “And if management wants to continue to play games, they’ll learn just how true that is.”

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The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 airlines. AFA is the union that has advanced the Flight Attendant profession for 78 years, beating back discrimination and improving wages, benefits, working conditions, and aviation safety, health and security in the aircraft cabin. AFA also partners with the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org

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