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Flight Attendants Inch Nearer to Hanging

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Alaska’s flight attendants had been the most recent to vote in favor of authorizing a strike to vote, an indication that tensions between flight attendants and airline administration proceed to rise.

Alaska Airways’ flight attendants union voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike on Tuesday, the most recent in a string of rising tensions between U.S. cabin crews and airline administration. 

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Of the flight attendants that participated within the vote, 99.48% of them determined in favor of authorizing a strike. The final time Alaska flight attendants went on strike was in 1993. 

“There’s no excuse: Alaska administration has the cash to purchase one other airline, they definitely have the cash to put money into Flight Attendants,” stated Jeffrey Peterson, the president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants’ Alaska chapter, referencing Alaska’s proposed buy of Hawaiian Airways. 

“We’ve got a easy message for administration: Pay us, or CHAOS!,” Peterson continued, referring to a method referred to as “Create Havoc Round Our System,” which includes focused strikes on a number of flights. 

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Alaska’s flight attendants are additionally not alone of their vote to authorize a strike — flight attendants and American and Southwest have carried out the identical. 

The vote comes as hundreds of flight attendants picketed at dozens of airports throughout the U.S., demanding higher pay and dealing situations. 

“Flight Attendants are combating company greed and demanding our jobs make it attainable to stay life,” stated Sara Nelson, the president of the AFA.

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Regardless of the vote, Alaska flight attendants can’t instantly strike. Since airline staff are coated beneath the Railway Labor Act, there first must be a launch from mediation, then a 30-day “cooling off” interval earlier than flight attendants can formally strike. Every step can take a number of months, and President Biden additionally has the flexibility to intervene to cease the strike. 

So, the vote to strike received’t have any quick impression on journey, but when the flight attendants get by way of these subsequent steps, then strikes may result in a whole bunch of cancellations and delays. 

Stagnant Pay as Pilots Obtain Huge Pay Raises

Because the pandemic, flight attendants have reported feeling burned out. They served on the entrance strains of the pandemic, handled a pointy rise in unruly passengers, labored on packed planes and confronted staffing shortages. 

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One of many main sore factors for flight attendants has been their compensation. Flight attendants make a median of $67,110, in line with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That pay has stayed across the identical at the same time as total inflation has pushed costs 18% greater than 2019. Negotiations between flight attendants and administration have stalled for years. 

One other problem for flight attendants has been the construction of their compensation. Flight attendants are solely paid for his or her time contained in the airplane — they aren’t paid for his or her work on the bottom or for boarding. 

Including salt to the wound is that pilots received massive pay raises previously 12 months. United Airways provided its pilots 40% pay will increase; American Airways gave 46% raises; Delta Air Traces gave a 34% increase; and Southwest gave pilots an almost 50% pay improve. 

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“We’re uninterested in ready,” stated Julie Hedrick, the president of the Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants, a union that represents flight attendants at American, throughout a city corridor in September. 

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