US Airways Flight Attendants File Lawsuit Against Airline
January 8, 2004
Washington, DC -- US Airways flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, CWA/AFL-CIO, today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to prevent airline management from executing an illegal process in the involuntary furlough of 552 flight attendants.
"The jobs and livelihoods of people are at stake," said AFA US Airways Master Executive Council President Perry Hayes. "AFA will fight with all legal means necessary to protect the US Airways flight attendants from this kind of blatant disregard for our contract and rights."
At the same time US Airways management has made a public spectacle of asking for employee cooperation in turning the airline around, it has set off this clash over furloughs, which also comes on the heels of management-initiated disputes over the flight attendant reserve system, sick leave, medical benefits, and cuts in the amount of time flight attendants are credited for working.
In December, US Airways management announced that it was involuntarily furloughing 552 flight attendants. According to the collective bargaining agreement between AFA and US Airways, before flight attendants are involuntarily furloughed, the airline must first offer a voluntary furlough. Once, during a furlough in June 2003, management attempted to by-pass the voluntary process, but was ultimately forced to follow the contract after an arbitrator ruled in favor of the flight attendants in an expedited process.
"Management seems to be unnecessarily creating problems with its workers at a very delicate time for the airline," Hayes said. "Hopefully US Airways management will work with us instead of against us in resolving this major dispute. That will clear the way to finally resolve the management problems that are preventing this airline from turning around and winning the support of its workers."
More than 45,000 flight attendants, including the 5,200 flight attendants at US Airways, join together to form AFA, the world's largest flight attendant union. # # #