Home > News > American Eagle Management Ruled Out of Line in Denying Flight Attendant Union Access to Crew Room

American Eagle Management Ruled Out of Line in Denying Flight Attendant Union Access to Crew Room

Date: October 2, 2003

DALLAS, TX – American Eagle flight attendant union leaders now have access to flight attendant crew rooms after an arbitrator ruled that Eagle management violated the flight attendants’ rights when a union leader was kicked out of the Miami crew room and denied future access to discuss union issues with union members.

On July 22, 2002, Eagle flight attendant and Miami Association of Flight Attendants Local Council President Bill Hennessey, was physically escorted out of the airline’s Miami crew room after management said he did not have permission to be there. Hennessey was talking with flight attendants and distributing union literature at the time.

The union’s grievance representative, Debora Sutor, also an Eagle flight attendant and Chicago Local Council President, filed a grievance, because the crew room is a non-work area where discussions about union issues are allowed. Earlier this week, an arbitrator ruled “the evidence sufficient to establish that the company violated union rights of access… inherent in the contract agreement.”

“Denying elected flight attendant union leaders the right to speak with the flight attendants who elected them is not only a violation of our contract, it is against everything America stands for,” said Hennessey, now also serving as Eagle AFA Master Executive Council President. “It’s a true testament to the professionalism of the flight attendants that the animosity Eagle management displays towards us on a regular basis doesn’t carry over into our jobs as this airline’s frontline employees.”

The arbitrator’s decision comes on the heels of Eagle management’s Sept. 12 request to the National Mediation Board to intervene in contract talks, after face-to-face talks failed to produce an agreement.

If mediated contract talks fail to produce an agreement, the NMB declares an impasse in negotiations, and either party refuses to submit open issues to arbitration, a 30-day countdown to self-help will begin. Self-help for flight attendants means CHAOS™.

CHAOS stands for Create Havoc Around our System, and includes random, unannounced work stoppages. Flight attendants may strike any flight, at any time, leaving management unable to respond, and passengers sitting in airports, rather than getting to their destinations.

More than 36,000 flight attendants join together to form AFA, the world’s largest flight attendant union, including the 1,200 flight attendants at American Eagle. For more information, visit http://www.afa-ae-web.org.

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