American Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) union, announced its intentions to strike due to failing negotiations over a new labor deal.
APFA announced that 99.47% of participating union members voted to authorize the strike, with more than 93% of eligible American Airlines cabin crew members participating in the vote.
According to the announcement, which was made by APFA on August 30, 2023, the strike will go through if “contract talks do not yield significant improvements”.
“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,” said Julie Hendrick, National President at APFA, adding that the union’s contributions to the airline’s success “must be recognized and respected”.
The union is still ineligible to strike until it is released by the National Mediation Board and following a 30-day cooling-off period. However, APFA warned that without any meaningful improvements to the flight attendant’s labor contract, “we will not hesitate to request a release to strike if necessary”.
“Your negotiations team will return to the bargaining table with a clear message to management that American Airlines Flight Attendants are fired up and ready for our contract,” APFA added.
Several flight attendant unions from other airlines, including JetBlue’s Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 579 and Alaska Airlines’ Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) expressed their support for APFA on X (formerly Twitter).
This is the second potential strike faced by American Airlines management in the past few months. When negotiations with the airline’s pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), stalled, the union authorized to strike on May 1, 2023.
While the strike was averted with an agreement in principle between the two sides on May 19, 2023, a new deal between United Airlines and its pilots agreed in July 2023 threw a spanner in the works.
At the time, APA’s president Ed Sicher said that the Tentative Agreement (TA) between APA and American Airlines was now “woefully deficient by comparison and in need of significant improvements” when compared to that of United Airlines’ TA.
APA eventually approved a new and improved contract on August 21, 2023.