Updated February 13th, 2024 at 15:17 IST

US flight attendants come together to picket outside airports for better pay

Over the past two years, unions representing pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance workers have been advocating for higher wages and improved scheduling.

Reported by: Business Desk
Representative | Image:Unsplash
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Flight attendants protest: Flight attendants from three labour unions are set to picket outside airports in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Guam on Tuesday, demanding better pay and new contracts with significant pay increases. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) announced that thousands of cabin crew members from 24 airlines, including Alaska Air, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines, will participate in the protests outside 30 airports.

Over the past two years, unions representing pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance workers have been advocating for higher wages, improved scheduling, and other benefits amid a competitive labour market and increased travel demand following the pandemic.

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While pilots across major airlines have secured new labour agreements with substantial pay raises and benefits, many flight attendants have not received a pay raise in five years, according to the AFA. Flight attendants are also calling for an end to the industry practice of not compensating them for the time spent during boarding and waiting at airports between flights. Currently, they are only paid for the duration when the aircraft is in motion, with Delta Air Lines being the exception as it compensates flight attendants during boarding time.

The situation has escalated in recent weeks, with Canadian leisure carrier Air Transat's cabin crew members rejecting a second labour deal, and Alaska Air flight attendants preparing to vote on a strike authorization. At Southwest Airlines, flight attendants approved a strike mandate last month after rejecting a tentative contract in December.

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The protests highlight the growing frustration among flight attendants over stagnant wages and inadequate compensation practices, underscoring the need for airlines to address these concerns and negotiate fair contracts with their employees.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published February 13th, 2024 at 15:17 IST