Airline unions express support for striking UAW workers

US-based pilot and flight attendant unions have express support to striking UAW employees
James R. Martin /

Pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions have expressed their support for the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) union, whose automotive employees began a strike on September 15, 2023.

Captain Jason Ambrosi, the President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), said on X (formerly Twitter) that the pilot union stands “in solidarity with our union brothers & sisters at UAW”.

“The workers who have contributed to the success of the Big 3 automakers deserve to get their fair share with a contract,” Ambrosi added.

ALPA unites more than 75,000 professional pilots from several airlines in the United States (US) and Canada, including Air Canada, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, FedEx Express, United Airlines, and others.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) also tweeted that it was “ready to stand up with UAW”, before adding in another tweet that the Delta Air Lines flight attendants from AFA-CWA are standing in solidarity with the UAW at one of the assembly plants.

AFA-CWA represents over 50,000 flight attendants at US carriers, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and others.

Several UAW local chapters have contracts with aerospace manufacturers, including General Electric (GE) Aerospace, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, and Rolls-Royce’s facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, the US, according to Union Facts.

“A few minutes ago, thousands of UAW members at Ford, GM, and Stellantis walked out, marking the beginning of the Stand Up Strike,” the union said as the strike began on September 15, 2023.

The UAW has several demands for the so-called Big Three automotive manufacturers, namely Ford, GM, and Stellants.

They include big wage increases, Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA), defined benefit pensions, more paid time off, and the growth of retiree salaries.

Meanwhile, several Master Executive Councils (MEC) at ALPA, as well as Allied Pilots Association (ALPA), representing American Airlines pilots, have concluded their own contract negotiations, advocating for quality of life, as well as monetary improvements to their working agreements.

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