If your USAir flight is delayed today, it could be because your flight attendants are out picketing. And I guess I can’t blame them. According to this article in Travel Weekly, flight attendants and airline management have been unable to hammer out a contract that covers flight attendants – ever since US Airways and America West merged in September 2005 – six years ago! The America West flight attendant contract went into effect in 1999, and was being renegotiated when the company and union merged in 2005.
According to this post, the flight-attendant groups, with America West in the West and US Airways in the East, are represented by different chapters within the Association of Flight Attendants. Both sides have something to gain from a new contract. Starting wages for West flight attendants are $16.18 an hour, compared with $19.71 an hour for East flight attendants, a point of contention when the company announced new hires in the East and West in 2011. The East, however, has less vacation time than the West under the existing contract.
I wonder if my cousin Nancy, a USAir flight attendant based in Charlotte (i.e., “East”), will be out carrying a sign? If so, you go girl!