American Airlines Crew to Stage Wall Street Protest Monday During Carrier’s Investor Day

American Airlines flight attendants haven’t had a raise since 2019, when their contract became amendable. That’s rough on cabin crew, given roughly 20% inflation since then. And it’s especially rough junior crew who are the lowest-paid. First and second-year Boston-based flight attendants are eligible for food stamps. Some report being unable to afford gas, and living off of first class snacks.

Negotiations were slowed down first by the pandemic, and then as progress was made, by union officer elections. The union can’t come off on its biggest promises to members before elections are over, because incumbents would lose. And under the deal that US Airways negotiated for the union to support a takeover of American Airlines, union officers got a 42% raise. Officers don’t want to lose their jobs. No officer garnered a majority of votes on the first ballot those elections are ongoing.

American Airlines flight attendants want bigger raises than American is offering and they want retro pay back several years, like pilots (who have far more leverage).

So while the airline is holding its Investor Day on Monday afternoon, flight attendants will be holding a protest on Wall Street. The location is meant to symbolize investors, or something? Plus it’s New York, so maybe there will be media.

American Airlines has offered to match the top wages in the industry, to add boarding pay, and to adopt the most generous profit-sharing formula. In other words, they’ve offered to match Delta. Of course, American Airlines flight attendants would still earn less in profit sharing than non-unionized Delta crew because the airline earns less profit and has more employees to share it with than Delta.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants is asking the National Mediation Board to be allowed to strike. They have a status conference on March 13th. Whether the current slate of officers is re-elected or not, there should be negotiations after the election when there’s less immediate pressure to ‘show strength’ and ‘make promises’ and where compromise might be possible.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ah Julie and her union ilk minions must want to go hang out in the new LGA lounges afterwards while traveling on positive space tickets. Nothing like a nice glass of Chardonnay after a hard day of chanting slogans drafted by a 5 year old.

    The crop of candidates for the union are about as appealing as the new onboard menu options in domestic first class. No wonder there was such a low turnout.

  2. I negotiated many labor agreements where language would include retroactive pay if the contract was ratified in a timely manner. After a month with ratification we would define timely. 2 more weeks. The same weak Union lost 1-2 years of back pay twice in 10 years. The new contract started after ratification. So it was a double blow to their base pay, idiots

  3. hey hey ho ho your union overlords should go

    hey hey ho ho we took jobs that had contracts and we didnt realize how shitty the union made these contracts for new hires.

    hey hey ho ho we are here for you safety and to play on our phones

  4. Wall Street labor protests have been done before and, since they didn’t work before, of course the right thing to do is to do them again.

    The APFA is absolutely petrified that it will not be able to return a contract that is any better than what DL has already given its non-union FAs, esp. since AA has said that is all they will offer.
    What is the point of having a union if you can’t get more than your non-union colleagues?
    IN reality, even w/ a complete match of DL’s FA compensation, AA, UA and WN FAs would take less home due to union dues and lower profit sharing which is a byproduct of lower earnings.

    AA, UA and WN execs undoubtedly send red roses to DL execs every week. Those 3 don’t have to increase FA pay, FAs think they will get something more later, and they all have labor that is less certain of the value of unions. Everyone wins except for AA, UA and WN FAs.

    Given that AA has the highest number of employees in southern right to work states, AA execs undoubtedly stay awake at night praying that their FAs will decertify the APFA.

  5. It is quite UnAmerican to hate unions. Without unions, many employed people would NOT enjoy the wages and benefits and safety on the jobs as they do. Than again, it’s now becoming the norm to hate most things American! I’ve worked for good and bad unions as well as no union at all. The employees are letting the unions get away with what they do. Really! (now go ahead and write your nasty reaction to what I wrote!) 😉

  6. Cr
    that’s all great in theory until you recognize that DL employees – some of whom are unionized but most are not – are the most highly compensated in the industry.
    I don’t see DL employees working under conditions that are any worse than any other airline.

    Unions had a point at one time – but they are now failing to deliver for their members and companies are doing all possible to work around unions.
    Did you happen to see Ford execs’ comments after the strike last year? They said they will “think twice about where they put new plants” after the union targeted some of the highest value production sites.

    Unions are great at winning battles and losing wars.

  7. Your statement of: “American Airlines flight attendants haven’t had a raise since 2019, when their contract became amendable.” connects the two timewise but they are actually almost a year apart. The pay raise was on January 1, 2019 and the amendable date was December 13, 2019 with negotiations starting a year prior to that as long as the notice requirement was satisfied. The contract in a pdf form is available online. I searched for “American Airlines flight attendants contract 2014”

    A. This Agreement shall become effective on December 13, 2014, and shall continue in full force and effect until December 12, 2019 and shall renew itself without change each succeeding December 13th unless written notice of intended change is served in accordance with Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act as amended, by thirty days prior to December 13, 2018, or any December 13 thereafter. If notice is served at least thirty (30) days prior to December 13, 2018, the parties agree to commence negotiations one year prior to the amendable date.

    In SECTION 3 – COMPENSATION, the last yearly raise was on 1/1/19

  8. Where do I start? Oh I know. In addition to making the very poor choice of working for American Airlines as a Flight Attendant, you now make the very poor decision to embarrass your employer because of what some Union thugs have arranged. Great move. Solid choices.

  9. Abit of posturing for the cameras that will accomplish little. FAs are in a relatively weak position. I feel for them, but AA hasnt had trouble finding 20 somethings that want to be FAs, regardless of the pay. Best to work with AA to figure out how they can drive efficiencies and quality to justify higher pay and profit sharing.

  10. The rank and file need to take the blinders and see what really got them – and all of American Airlines for that matter – into this mess. The takeover of their Union by the total deadbeats from USAir whose track record for a lack of failing to improve the situation for their membership now is longer than at their former airline. Start by getting rid of the entire motley mob!

  11. If your compensation would not allow you to live as you desire, why did you take the job as an AA flight attendant?

  12. so how did it go? didn’t hear a peep about it and I am certain the rest of the world didn’t care.

    Now, APFA has to face the fact that they can’t send a contract to AA FAs that bests what Delta offered its non-union FAs and AA has agreed to match.

  13. Wild that you all think you know everything and just criticize the unions on the grounds that Delta has better pay. Sure but they are known for being worse on so many other things that having a union contributes to:
    – Quality of life – no compensation for when they violate the agreement and no one to chase management for it, so they are known for having the most violations
    – A terrible line matching system, that favours only the most very senior flight attendants
    – Worse flight benefits and interlining than both AA and UA
    – Having reserve days built into the schedule of all employees – also leads to a worse quality of life
    – Having a worse ability to trade trips – makes life for FAs less flexible
    – Worse support for FAs trying to progress their careers and get an education
    – Firing FAs for the worst reasons – and they have a terrible culture because everyone knows how easy it is to get someone fired there

    If you think unions only bargain on pay, you really shouldn’t be commenting on this, as you are way out of your depth.

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