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United Flight Attendants Picket at U.S., U.Okay Airports



Skift Take

United flight attendants are the most recent to precise their frustrations over stagnant pay and taxing work circumstances.

Round a dozen United Airways flight attendants picketed exterior LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, demanding higher pay and dealing circumstances. 


The protest was a part of a wider initiative by United’s flight attendants, with picketing on the provider’s main hubs and bases within the U.S. and U.Okay. The current disclosure of United CEO Scott Kirby’s pay sparked the protest — he made near $19 million in 2023. 

Flight attendant wages, then again, have been caught. The median wage of a flight attendant is round $68,000, in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“All of the work-life steadiness issues that we’re asking for, they simply haven’t even despatched us proposals but,” mentioned Lily Meyer, a United flight attendant based mostly out of LaGuardia. 


Meyer mentioned at a city corridor Thursday that the corporate recommended flight attendants work 18-hour shifts. Usually flight attendants work wherever from 10 to fifteen hours a day, however will not be paid for the total shift.

“Should you can think about working for 18 hours, not simply on the bottom — you’re doing a number of flights a day,” Meyer mentioned. “Then, we don’t have sufficient time to relaxation. It’s really unsafe.”

United mentioned it was persevering with negotiations with the flight attendants’ union.  


“Since final month we’ve been assembly with the Affiliation of Flight Attendants and the federal mediator they requested as we proceed to work towards an industry-leading settlement for our flight attendants,” United mentioned in a press release. “Our negotiations are persevering with this week and we now have further dates scheduled later this month.”

Tensions Between Airways and Flight Attendants Rise as Pay Stagnates

These protests additionally mark one other contentious flash level in contract negotiations between flight attendants and airways as talks have continued for years. Meyer mentioned United flight attendants have been in negotiations with the provider for 29 months and it’s unclear once they’ll attain an settlement. Meyer added that negotiations have traditionally taken round 24 months. 

“It’s past maddening that it’s been 29 months on the desk,” Meyer mentioned.


Flight attendants at American Airways and Southwest Airways had beforehand voted to authorize a strike. Alaska Airways flight attendants staged the same protest in February. Southwest flight attendants just lately reached a tentative settlement with Southwest, however the union must ratify the brand new contract earlier than it will probably go into impact.

One of many greatest points for flight attendants throughout the {industry} has been pay. Flight attendants are solely compensated for the time labored contained in the airplane, as soon as the door closes — they don’t seem to be paid for boarding or for any work on the bottom. 

Flight attendant wages have additionally stayed roughly stagnant for the previous decade. Meyer mentioned flight attendants at United haven’t acquired a increase since 2016 and wages have been beneath inflation by roughly 19%. 


Pilots throughout the {industry} acquired hefty pay raises because the pandemic, with some airways providing pilots as a lot as 50% raises. 

Airways are anticipated to ultimately attain agreements with their flight attendants, with some Wall Avenue analysts predicting that their labor prices will develop considerably in 2024. 

Meyer mentioned this was the fourth time LaGuardia flight attendants have been picketing and that they’d proceed to place stress on United. 


“It’s onerous if you’re like ‘Alright, I’ve to pay lease,’ and let me now have to decide on what groceries I should purchase,” Meyer mentioned. “It’s not honest, that is my full-time job. I’ve been doing this for 18 years.” 

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