Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Flight attendants turn out for Worldwide Day of Action

By Jared Hamil

Flight attendants on the picket line at LAX.  | Staff/Fight Back! News

Los Angeles, CA – On the late morning of June 13, hundreds of flight attendants from different airlines picketed across terminals at LAX, the Los Angeles airport. Three unions were present and coordinated together Worldwide Day of Action, hitting multiple airports across the country.

AFA-CWA (Association of Flight Attendants), APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants), and the TWU (Transport Workers Union) all organized flight attendants as they marched throughout the busy LAX terminals demanding contracts, and an end to corporate greed.

Flight attendants are demanding action as negotiations have reached a standstill between them and different airline companies. Flight attendants are currently in negotiations at Alaska, American and United, which are being stalled by the airline executives. There are also negotiations at smaller airlines – Air Wisconsin, Frontier, Omni and PSA.

Flight attendants have worked beyond the expiration of their current contracts and are demanding better working conditions and pay from companies that are making record profits. Many unions will not work beyond a contract expiration and will go on strike, but, because flight attendants are covered under the Railway Labor Act, they must undergo federal mediation before that can take place. In the meantime, the airlines and Federal Mediation Board have dragged their feet while flight attendants have been waiting. Airline companies know the rules and are taking advantage of the laws in place.

The morning picket started with speeches from different flight attendants in front of the Tom Bradley International terminal at LAX. Busy summer travel and traffic was in full effect Thursday morning. The flight attendants chanted, loudly demanding a “Contract, now!” They then marched to neighboring domestic terminals yelling, “Hey hey! Ho ho! Corporate greed has got to go!” Travelers were shaken by the spirited chanting. Workers at the terminals appeared supportive, though they were on the clock. The flight attendants were joined in solidarity by other unions, including the Writers Guild of America, IBEW local 11 and the Teamsters.

Brendan Moriarity of the TWU Local 579 executive board for LAX and a flight attendant with Jet Blue said, “We organized this picket today to show the solidarity between all flight attendants. We were out here today demanding dignity and respect on the job. We’re demanding better pay, work rules and a better quality of life.” In reference to the extreme hours flight attendants may work where forced overtime is normal, he said, “We work to live, not live to work.” He continued, “We’re here to show support for our brothers and sisters and show the bosses that corporate greed doesn’t fly.”

#LosAngelesCA #CA #Labor #AFA #APFA #TWU #FlightAttendants