ASA Flight Attendants Renew Fight For Contract As Talks Enter Fourth Year
January 11, 2008
Washington, DC - With over 90,000 flight attendants across the country in new or continuing contract negotiations with their airline management, flight attendants at Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), are well-versed in the process. This year marks ASA flight attendants' fourth, consecutive year in negotiations with airline management. In spite of the unusually long process they remain hopeful that a new contract will be reached soon. AFA-CWA has been negotiating with ASA management since the last contract expired in September 2003.
"We remain optimistic that a tentative agreement will come together soon," said Jeannie Babb, AFA-CWA Master Executive Council President at ASA. "Flight attendants at ASA are tired. We are tired of the four-plus years of mostly unproductive negotiations and disappointed that our hard work continues to go unrecognized. Yet, in spite of this tedious process, ASA flight attendants are filled with a renewed energy that patience and persistence will prevail and ultimately we will have a contract that adequately reflects the work and dedication we continue to provide to this airline."
While there has been some progress recently to a few sections in the current contract, there are several large issues, both economic and non-economic, that remain on the table. In October 2007, ASA management reached an agreement with their pilots after five years of negotiations.
"ASA flight attendants have been fighting for better pay and working conditions for far too long. They are also asking for simple health and safety improvements inside the cabin to enhance service and productivity. Issues like providing gloves in each aircraft for use in cleaning and serving food and beverages to allowing flight attendants off the aircraft at airports in order to use the restroom (currently not allowed) are items which should not require a great deal of debate. Yet for years management has refused to give in on these two issues. It is a mockery of the entire negotiations process when common sense solutions are repeatedly ignored," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President.
Over the next two years, more than half of all flight attendant contracts with U.S. airlines will be up for negotiations. This week, union leaders representing nearly 90,000 flight attendants met in Washington, DC, for an unprecedented bargaining summit. AFA-CWA will have over 46,000 flight attendants in new or continuing contract negotiations, including the over 1,000 currently at ASA. AFA-CWA will resume negotiations with ASA management the weeks of January 14 and 21.
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.