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Aer Lingus Flight Attendants Mobilize For Union Election With The Association of Flight Attendants

Date: January 3, 2012

AFA Files for Election for U.S. Based Aer Lingus Flight Attendants

Washington, DC - In less than a month an overwhelming majority of Aer Lingus Flight Attendants mobilized to unify their work group for union representation with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA).  AFA today filed with the National Mediation Board (NMB) the signed authorization cards seeking AFA representation.

"The U.S. based Flight Attendants working for Aer Lingus perform the same essential first responder duties as their Irish counterparts and 25,000 United Flight Attendants, without the same pay, benefits and work rule protections afforded by a legally binding contract.  This joint venture was dreamed up by management for the sole purpose of avoiding the legal obligations of a contract and a commitment to workers.  It is a failed labor model and the U.S. based Aer Lingus Flight Attendants are making that clear today by calling for an election to gain a voice at work and the right to collective bargaining," said AFA International President Veda Shook.

"We are excited to gain democracy and the right to collective bargaining at work, just like our counterparts who are based in Ireland.  Aer Lingus operates differently than most U.S. airlines - it is a European Carrier.  Our Irish-based flying partners have been happily unionized for many years and the collaborative worker/management relationship is a benefit for everyone.  We, 'Unite Aer Lingus IAD,' look forward to the same benefits at work: collaborating on improvements that will benefit our airline and Aer Lingus Flight Attendants," said AFA supporters at Aer Lingus.

In 2009, Aer Lingus Limited and United Airlines entered a joint venture for a flight between Washington DC and Madrid.  Aer Lingus employs the workers based in Washington, DC.

Shay Cody, General Secretary of IMPACT, the union that represents Flight Attendants at Aer Lingus in Ireland and England sent the following statement to AFA, "I am writing to convey the full support of the IMPACT Trade Union for your organizing drive for Aer Lingus Flight Attendants based in Washington Dulles."

"The right to join a union is a human rights issue that is understood around the world," stated Shook.

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world's largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for over 65 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions.  Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 23 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. For more information go to yourafa.org.

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