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Flight attendants picket Tampa International Airport

By Simon Rowe

Tampa flight attendants on the picket line for a decent contract.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Tampa, FL – On February 13, over 40 flight attendants and their supporters picketed at the Tampa International Airport. This was part of a worldwide day of action held by the Association of Flight Attendants and Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which saw pickets at more than 30 airports across the country.

Over two-thirds of union flight attendants in the U.S. are currently in contract negotiations. In these negotiations the flight attendants are demanding improvements to their contracts with the airlines. Their demands include higher wages and safer working conditions for all workers.

Robert Payne, a board member at large in the Transit Workers Union of America Local 577, said, “You have flight attendants here today with United, with Southwest, with Delta, with Allegiant, with Frontier. Various other flight attendant unions all across the country are coming together and we are all saying the same thing: that we deserve to be treated like the safety professionals that we are, that we deserve a living wage that respects the importance of the work that we do.”

Around 25 flight attendants picketed on airport property at the Blue Express arrivals terminal, before moving to join a larger crowd picketing outside the property of the Tampa International Airport. Passing cars honked to show their support for the flight attendants as they chanted, “What do we want? A contract! When do we want it? Now!”

With an estimated 100,000 flight attendants represented in these negotiations, the worldwide day of action was a first step to show the world that flight attendants are serious about this contract fight.

“Over the last few years especially, I think the public is starting to see the importance of what it is we do and the impact it can have on workers in the airline industry,” said Payne.

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