APFA Pres. Bob Ross: Mid-Contract Wage Adjustment 'Insulting'
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing over 25,000 frontline employees at American Airlines, has spoken out against an arbitration panel’s decision awarding the airline’s cabin crews a 1.63 percent raise.
“For a workforce which has made this company and its recent merger an outstanding commercial success, today’s ‘raise’ is insulting,” said Bob Ross, APFA National President. “Flight Attendants at this airline deserve industry-leading compensation. American CEO Doug Parker had an opportunity to deliver on the promise he made to make his employees the best-paid in the industry, and he refused. That says a lot about what he thinks about our contribution to this airline.”
Following the merger of American and US Airways, Flight Attendants at APFA were promised an “industry-leading” contract by Doug Parker. At the time, however, United Airlines was still locked in protracted negotiations for a Flight Attendant contract, artificially depressing the industry average. APFA negotiated an opportunity to adjust their contract in arbitration following a deal at United. The outcome of that arbitration, announced today, did not take into consideration large raises for Delta Flight Attendants. Instead, the arbitrators awarded only a modest adjustment to catch up to the new non industry leading contract at United.
American Airlines recently earned the distinction of Airline of the Year from Air Transport World Magazine. Since the merger, the airline has spent tens of millions of dollars buying back stock and issuing record dividends to shareholders. Meanwhile, the frontline employees who have contributed to the company’s success, more than anyone in management, continue to fall behind their industry peers in terms of compensation.
By aggressively fighting to deny Flight Attendants the 8.18 percent raise needed to match Delta, Doug Parker squandered a terrific opportunity to generate goodwill among the company’s best asset – its people. Instead of acknowledging that his flight crews deserve the best pay in the industry, he decided they only deserve the same pay as United. Bob Ross, President of APFA, has promised his membership he will continue to fight to have Doug Parker keep his word for equitable pay for Flight Attendants ahead of the next round of contract negotiations.
(Source: APFA media release)