Income Inequality Soars, Perpetuated by United Airlines Management
Washington D.C. (July 15, 2015) – In an atmosphere of record company profits, smiling shareholders and eye-popping executive salaries, United Airlines Flight Attendants will march tomorrow at airports around the world in support of negotiations for a fair contract.
United’s 24,000 flight attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) -- the world’s largest Flight Attendant union.
Conducting informational picketing at United hubs across the continental United States, as well as in Germany, England, Hong Kong, Japan and Guam, Flight Attendants are demanding a fair contract fully five years after United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek promised he would complete one by the end of 2011, after United’s merger with Continental Airlines was completed in October, 2010.
“Today we’re marching around the world for Flight Attendants at United and every Flight Attendant in the industry who works as aviation’s first responders," said AFA International President Sara Nelson. “We march in support of our negotiating committee, we march for a fair contract and we march in support of our passengers amidst the most profitable period in the history of commercial aviation.”
In 2014, Smisek’s salary rose 39 percent to approximately $11.3 million, with $975,000 of that in base salary, $7.7 million in stock options, $2.3 million in incentives and $300,000 in other compensation. As a whole, United Airlines has roughly $7 billion in cash on its balance sheet, and its share price is up 162 percent since the merger (http://fortune.com/2015/04/28/united-airlines-ceo-pay/).
“It was the sacrifices of Flight Attendants that helped make this merger possible, and it is past time for United management to complete this merger and return United to its premier status in the world. That starts with our contract,” Nelson said. “A fair contract with United that reflects the success of the industry and the frontline workers that make it possible will also benefit Flight Attendants at American, Delta and every other airline. It’s our turn and it’s past time.”
AFA International President Sara Nelson will join the world-wide picket at Washington Dulles with hundreds of Flight Attendants. Labor leaders will show their support by walking with Flight Attendants at Dulles from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, including Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Ed Wytkind.
Due to high demand from Flight Attendants for picketing locations, there will also be Flight Attendants and other protesters marching at Washington National Airport from 8-9 am tomorrow.
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The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.