THOUSANDS of flight attendants across three labour unions will picket outside airports in the US, the UK and Guam on Tuesday (Feb 13), to push airlines for new contracts with significant pay increases, the Association of Flight Attendants said.
The protests will include cabin crew members from 24 airlines, including Alaska Air, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines, picketing outside 30 airports.
In the past two years, unions representing pilots, flight attendants and maintenance workers have advocated for higher wages, better scheduling and other benefits amidst a tight labour market, as airlines cash in on a post-pandemic travel boom.
Unlike flight attendants, pilots across major airlines have secured new labour deals, including bumper pay hikes and other benefits.
Some flight attendants have not had a pay raise in five years, the AFA said.
Flight attendants are also urging an end to the industry practice of not compensating them for the time spent during boarding and waiting at the airport before and between flights.
At present, they receive payment solely for the duration when the aircraft is in motion. Delta Air Lines is the only US carrier that pays its flight attendants during boarding time.
Earlier this month, Canadian leisure carrier Air Transat’s cabin crew members rejected a second labour deal offered to them, while Alaska Air flight attendants will vote on a strike authorisation on Tuesday.
Last month, flight attendants at Southwest Airlines approved a strike mandate after rejecting a tentative contract in December. REUTERS