Spirit Flight Attendants Prepared to Strike if Necessary
March 12, 2012
Flight Attendants Petition Management and Ask NMB to Define Negotiations End Date
Washington, DC - Spirit Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), fed up with management delays and regressive proposals, officially requested a process that would encourage reaching an agreement or a strike deadline. On Friday, AFA asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare that negotiations are at an impasse and requested a proffer of arbitration. This step is required prior to setting a 30-day cooling-off period, the time during which intense negotiations typically take place and lead to an agreement or a strike.
Prior to submitting the request for proffer, a group of Flight Attendants were denied entrance to company headquarters while attempting to deliver a petition to management. Through the petition, hundreds of Spirit Flight Attendants called on Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza to direct management's negotiators to engage in meaningful and productive discussions.
"It's long past time for management to take these negotiations seriously. We filed for mediation two years ago in order to speed up negotiations and get management's attention. Spirit Flight Attendants are prepared to reach a new, improved contract and we have had it with management games. Our work as first responders is valuable. We want an agreement that recognizes our contributions, and we are prepared to strike if that is what it takes to get this management focused on reaching an agreement," said Todd St. Pierre, Spirit AFA President.
In October, Spirit Flight Attendants overwhelmingly authorized a strike by 98.4 percent should management fail to negotiate a new contract. The NMB will now evaluate whether negotiations are deadlocked and then could make a proffer of arbitration, a step required by the Railway Labor Act prior to a 30-day "cooling off" period leading to a strike deadline. The strike deadline often encourages focused negotiations. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS™ or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight. The union decides when, where and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.
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 21 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.