American Airlines Strike Threatens To Disrupt This Holiday Season

Earlier this week, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), a union representative of over 26000 flight attendants,  protested working conditions under American Airlines. The Union says it is ready to begin the American Airlines Strike if the carrier does not bring significant improvements to its attendants.

An American Airlines flight attendant
Strikes could begin as early as the holiday season. © American Airlines.

In a statement released earlier this week, Julie Hedrick, National President of the APFA, expressed her frustration with American Airlines management and her refusal to continue with current working conditions.

“Thankfulness and gratitude are not sentiments that our executives seem to understand when it comes to their front-line workforce…We are ready to back our words with action; we are ready to strike.”

— Julie Hedrick

What’s the reason for the American Airlines Strike?

In a statement released earlier this week, the APFA noted that despite record profits, American Airlines’ flight attendants had not seen a pay rise since 2019. The statement argued that attendants were sorely neglected – according to a September regulatory filing, CEO Robert Isom received a $2.75 million bonus and $8.25 million worth of restricted stock grants.

Two Flight attendants, one checking in a bag, look at one another.
Attendants under the union are asking for a pay rise and improved work-life conditions. © American Airlines.

The APFA demanded a pay rise of 33% and improved work-life balances at the airline.

At a protest last month, picketers in Fort Worth lamented the amount of unpaid downtime they faced at AA. One picketer stated that pay was insufficient and that he had resorted to working on his days off just to make rent. President Hedrick was also present and attested:

“We will do whatever it takes, and that will be the next step in going against the world’s largest airline.”

“Trying to get pAAid”

Members of the APFA voted overwhelmingly in favour of the strike. The proposed strike won with a landslide of 99.47% ‘yes’ votes, with 93% of individuals participating in the vote.

The carrier responded to the protests last month, attesting that it continued negotiations with the union and was confident it would reach an agreement.

 “We continue to meet regularly with APFA and are confident that we’ll reach an agreement American’s Flight Attendants have earned.”

However, a statement released on Friday by the APFA suggests that the company has yet to reach a significant agreement with its attendants. Next week, the union attested, is the deadline before the strikes would begin.

a male american airlines flight attendant and a female american airlines pilot stand together,
Pilots under American Airlines won a pay rise earlier this year. © American Airlines.

Earlier this year, pilots under American Airlines received over nine billion dollars of compensation and benefits after protesting unfair work conditions. Their union’s negotiations served to win them a 46% pay rise.

The APFA said the strike could begin as early as this holiday season.

What do you think about strike action at American Airlines? Have you been affected by recent actions? Let us know in the comments.

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Bella Pelster
Bella Pelster
I'm a Londoner with a huge passion for travel, history and sustainability. In my spare time I love reading novels (any genre, any author) and watching television and films (mostly the sopranos)!