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Hundreds Of Flight Attendants To Gather In Milwaukee To Protest The Worst Pay In The Air At Midwest Airlines

Date: July 8, 2008

Candlelight March to the Midwest Center
Over 200 Flight Attendants to March to Midwest Center

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
333 West Kilbourn Avenue
Time: 9:30 p.m.

Washington, DC - Hundreds of flight attendants from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) will convene in Milwaukee tonight to protest Midwest Airlines draconian reductions in flight attendants' pay. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, hundreds of flight attendants from 20 carriers will hold a candlelight march to the Midwest Center where remarks will be made from AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA Midwest President Toni Higgins and a guest from the Milwaukee Central Labor Council.

In June, in order to offset rising fuel prices and a failed business plan, Midwest Airlines management hired an outside consulting firm, the Seabury Group, to present the flight attendants with a proposal that included furloughing half the work force, over 55 percent pay cuts for those remaining and additional slashes to current work rules. AFA-CWA was given the proposal without any supporting information or documentation and told that, if not accepted, management would have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. After repeated requests by AFA-CWA, management finally supplied background on the proposal, however the information provided was inaccurate and incomplete.

According to the Seabury Group's plan, the proposed Midwest flight attendant pay scale was compiled by taking the average pay rate of flight attendants from smaller carriers and reducing the average by 15 percent. However, as management continued to insist that the concessions were "fair and equitable" for all work groups, calculations for management and non-union employee concessions were based on average salaries at larger, more profitable mainline carriers such as Southwest and Delta.

AFA-CWA has notified management of its intent to negotiate, but not under the current proposed terms. In 2003, Midwest flight attendants took concessions to help the company avoid bankruptcy. Shortly after the concessionary contract was signed, management rewarded themselves with pay restoration and increases, while flight attendants and pilots continued to work under the reduced wages and work rules.

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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