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Sun, Feb 13, 2011

AFA Breaks Off Contract Negotiations With US Airways

Union Says Members Are "Fed Up" After Five Years With No Contract

The AFA Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) broke off talks with US Airways management Thursday after five years of contract negotiations, which have been underway since Tempe-based America West Airlines merged with US Airways in September 2005 and the Flight Attendants merged contract negotiations in January 2006. The AFA committee said US Airways management's latest proposals contained no meaningful wage increases, concessions in healthcare and sick benefits and gutted scope and merger protections for Flight Attendants.

AFA MEC Presidents Mike Flores (East) and Lisa LeCarre (West) said US Airways CEO Doug Parker has "no interest" in completing the merger and resolving labor unrest. The two groups of Flight Attendants say they are unified in frustration and anger at the airline's management. AFA says it wants to reach a merged agreement, but management has failed to put into a contract the financial resources necessary to do so.

"For five years, US Airways CEO Doug Parker has financed his merged airline off the backs of the Flight Attendants, saving millions by paying Flight Attendant salaries that differ by up to 45 percent," said AFA US Airways-West President, Lisa LeCarre. "When you merge two companies, the goal is to combine all employee groups and pay them the same wage for the same work. That has not happened.  US Airways recently announced historic profits, yet management refuses to negotiate contract improvements and wage increases after years of promised benefits from this merger."

AFA US Airways-East President Mike Flores said, "US Airways East Flight Attendants have been working under concessionary wages and benefits since 2005 and have provided the means for this airline to not only survive, but prosper. It is high time for all Flight Attendants to share in the company's success through meaningful wage and benefit improvements."

In the first of a series of events, AFA is holding a system-wide Day of Action on February 17, in all Flight Attendant bases, to show management and the public that Flight Attendants are united in their effort to reach a contract.

FMI: www.afacwa.org

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