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Mesa Airlines Management's Recent Turmoil Raises Concerns For Flight Attendants

Date: October 4, 2007

Washington, DC – Reports of Mesa Airlines management's recent deceptions have Mesa flight attendants skeptical about management's commitment to improving the quality of life of their employees. Mesa flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), have been in negotiations for over a year regarding pay increases, quality of life adjustments, and many other improvements. Mesa flight attendants are among the lowest paid in the industry which has caused an exceptionally high turnover rate and has led to staffing shortages and operational problems for the airline.

"At this time, when we have so many serious issues to address, we need to know that management is committed to our negotiations and not distracted by their legal issues," said Brian Manning, Mesa AFA-CWA President. "Management thinks that we should sit across the table and accept a cost-neutral agreement, yet in the meantime they are sending tens of millions of dollars over to China to start a new airline. This investment in a new airline was made possible by the hard work of flight attendants and other employees."

Mesa recently announced that it would be partnering with Shenzhen Airlines to form a new airline based in China. Mesa will send 20 aircraft per year to Shenzhen, beginning immediately, until they have 200—the same number the Phoenix-based carrier currently owns. Flight attendants at Mesa will not operate or work for the new airline.

"This has been the summer of discontentment for flight attendants," said Manning. "Management insists that there be no improvements in the flight attendant contract because improvements cost money. For years they have insisted that their employees take concessions as if the company is failing. But then they announce that they have formed a $65 million airline in China. The money that Mesa management has used to expand their airline, in ways that are not beneficial to flight attendants, comes from the pockets of their employees. It is time that this shameful practice stops."

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

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