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Airline Union Tells Workers To Prepare For Strike That Could Endanger Summer Travel Plans

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The union representing flight attendants at American Airlines told members Friday night to prepare for a possible strike, which could affect Americans’ summer travel plans.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) issued the notice after failing for more than a week to reach an agreement on a new labor contract with American Airlines. The National Mediation Board (NMB), the government entity that manages labor relations for railroads and airlines, previously said it would end formal discussions between the two if a deal was not reached by the end of May, but is expected to extend that, pushing back the timeline for a potential strike into the summer, according to Bloomberg.

“While these delays are frustrating, we also know that the company’s ability to stall these negotiations is rapidly reaching an end,” the union told members in the announcement late Friday. “All flight attendants need to prepare for a strike.”

The average Flight Attendant salary in the United States is $85,935 as of April 24, 2024, but the range typically falls between $73,105 and $102,141.  – salary.com

If the NMB finds that talks cannot be furthered, it can then release the parties, and following a 30-day waiting period, a strike could ensue, according to Bloomberg. The Railway Labor Act keeps the existing contract in place during negotiations and prevents the union from making its own strike plans without approval.

The contract dispute with American is part of a broader move by around 80,000 flight attendants to reach a new labor deal at several airlines, including United, Alaska and Frontier, according to Reuters. In May, over 160 lawmakers sent a letter to the NMB requesting that it make further progress on coordinating a deal between the union and the airlines, warning that widespread strikes could bring the industry to a stop.

The contracts cover a slew of different topics, including sick leave, scheduling, vacations and expenses. The AFPA originally demanded in September a 35% wage increase upon signing of the deal, while management offered just an 11% hike.

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. AFPA deferred to the message sent to union members.

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