June 12, 2024

American Airlines flight attendants on a picket line

American Airlines flight attendants on a picket line
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

American Airlines needs to offer a bigger pay raise if it wants flight attendants to stay off the picket line, according to their union. Reuters reports that the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents the airline’s flight attendants, rejected a 17% raise offer on Wednesday that the carrier had put forward earlier this week.

The pay increase would be the first for American Airlines flight attendants since their contract expired in 2019. Negotiations were paused during the pandemic and things have been slow-going since they resumed in 2021. In recent weeks representatives from the airline and the union have been in Washington, D.C. for government-assisted mediation.

Last month, CNN reported that American Airlines flight attendants were being offered starting salaries that could easily land them underneath the poverty line or qualify them for assistance measures such as food stamps.

The AFPA represents more than 23,000 employees of American Airlines. In its latest annual report, American Airlines said that 87% of its 129,700 full-time workers are unionized. The AFPA said Wednesday that it had set up a “strike command center” to coordinate a collective work stoppage in case it and American fail to reach a tentative agreement in the near future.

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