US Airways Flight Attendants Outraged By Management Pay Increases
August 7, 2006
Management Continues Demand for Cost-Neutral Contract
Phoenix, AZ – While flight attendants from US Airways and America West, both represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), are striving in negotiations to reach a combined contract, the company announced last week that a three percent pay increase for management will take place this fall. This disturbing announcement comes at a time when management continues to insist at the bargaining table that the merged flight attendant contract include zero cost increases, or in other words, takes the worst from both contacts and merges them into one.
"This hypocritical posturing by Parker and his management team for a cost-neutral contract must stop now," said Gary Richardson, America West Master Executive Council President. "The flight attendants at the new US Airways are as integral to the success of this company as any other employee group, including management. We deserve and expect fair enhancements to our wages and working conditions. And yes, we are ready, willing and able to take the steps necessary to secure those enhancements." The majority of America West Flight Attendants have not had a pay increase since their contract became amendable in May, 2004.
Negotiations have been largely unproductive, leaving even
non-economic issues unresolved due to management's insistence on the worst of both contracts.
In addition to giving raises to management, CEO Doug Parker cashed in approximately nine million in stock options, and issued the following statement concerning the management increases: "The past year has been more challenging and more successful than many of us anticipated going into the US Airways/America West merger. Today, we are on track for a profitable 2006, even with transition-related expense and with continued high fuel costs and that is good news...I'm delighted that we're in a position to offer increases."
"US Airways flight attendants gave over $154 million per year in contract concessions, including the forced termination of our pensions, in order for the airline to survive and be a partner in the merger," said Mike Flores, US Airways Master Executive Council President. "And now, this management team, who are giving themselves raises and cashing in their stock options hand over fist, demands that our hard work and sacrifice remain unrecognized. It was on the backs of the flight attendants that this merger has been successful, and we are determined that we will obtain a merged contract with improvements in working conditions, benefits and compensation. Our paltry profit sharing yields us at the very best less than three per cent of our annual givebacks.
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.