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American Airlines

American Airlines Flight Attendants Picketing Outside of Fort Worth Headquarters

American Airlines Flight Attendants Picketing Outside of Fort Worth Headquarters
Sharon Hsu

American Airlines and US Airways officially merged in 2013 in an $11 billion deal, though fully integrating the two different carriers has taken years. Notably, its flight attendant workforce has remained split between the different pre-merger groups, with the target of September 2018 for completion.

Members of American Airlines‘ flight attendant union picketed outside of the company’s Fort Worth headquarters on Thursday, August 30, calling for better working conditions and policies.

Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union that represents over 26,000 flight attendants at American, told Dallas News, “Our flight attendants are really frustrated beyond belief. They have endured many monumental changes.”

Among these changes is the final full integration of the flight attendant workforce from American Airlines and US Airways. Though the two carriers merged five years ago, it has taken this long to finish standardizing policies, scheduling, and payroll between the two divisions of flight attendants.

Bassani states that several policy changes have been for the worse in terms of worker quality of life, including a “punitive” sick leave policy and staff over-scheduling. The union is also fighting for a replacement to the uniforms instituted in 2016, since almost 5,000 flight attendants have reported health issues like skin rashes and shortness of breath linked to the uniforms. While American has promised to phase out the uniforms by 2020, the union wants the transition to happen more quickly for the health of its workers.

The union is picketing, Bassani says, to call attention to “the gravity of what our flight attendants are working under. Our members are suffering, and we need some relief and we need it immediately.”

Kristen Foster issued a statement for American, stating that the airline respects the union’s “right to voice their opinions, and we will continue to work closely with [the union] to address their concerns and to get through this integration as quickly as possible.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. zgscl

    August 31, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Wasn’t there a whole thing about how Parker had the unions onboard before the merger? I take it that didn’t last

  2. sddjd

    sddjd

    August 31, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Really a woeful lack of detail in this story. With regard to the sick leave policy, below is a summary:

    Under the new policy, flight attendants would be assigned points for things like:

    Taking more than two personal days in 12 months
    Being late for work too often
    Being a “no-show” on an assigned flight
    Calling in sick during “critical periods,” like the busy summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas or December travel times

    Amass eight points in a year, and a flight attendant would get a “final warning”; get 10 points and the penalty would be “termination.”

    What strikes me is that every item above, with the exception possibly of the first, would lead to similar measures at ANY of the professional offices in which I’ve worked. Being late, no-shows, and bailing out during peak periods are now somehow unreasonable reasons for the employer to act? Herein lies the problem with the union’s approach; they’re defending actions that aren’t defensible.

    Of course, this goes hand in hand with the language used whenever the reps speak of the working conditions flight attendants must “endure”, as if they’re making some noble sacrifice and not performing a job in an environment for which THEY APPLIED.

  3. Aloha1

    September 2, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Just do what many passengers have done since Dougie took over: Walk away.

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