Flight Attendants Say America West-US Airways Merger Anniversary Means Bumpy Skies
September 26, 2006
Tempe, Arizona – On the one-year anniversary of the merger between America West Airlines and US Airways, flight attendant leaders say the merger is a mix of sluggish negotiations, low wages, and the failure to follow existing contracts. Flight attendants at both airlines are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA).
"Despite large profits and lucrative executive bonuses, management refuses to put the economic resources into a merged contract for front-line safety and service professionals," said Gary Richardson and Mike Flores, AFA-CWA MEC Presidents at America West and US Airways.
"Last year, management said that this merger would make sense for America West flight attendants," said Richardson. "Instead, this merger has meant broken promises, stagnant wages, and the salaries among the lowest in the industry for America West flight attendants."
"US Airways flight attendants gave staggering concessions to save our airline and make it attractive for a merger," said Flores. "Instead of a positive relationship and starting fresh, this management team threatens long-standing contract language and practices. They are paving the way for a very unhappy marriage."
"Eight months into negotiations for a merged contract, and the company cannot make the hard decisions in the non-economic contract sections," added Flores. "This portends a very difficult struggle in the future over contract provisions that mean the most to our members, including compensation and scheduling."
Picketing and protests are being planned in October at the seven US Airways bases in Boston, Charlotte, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, New York and Washington, DC.
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.