American Airlines flight attendants to picket over contract disputes

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American Airlines flight attendants plan to picket at nearly a dozen bases nationwide on Tuesday over issues with contract negotiations.

The flight attendants, represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), argued that management has continued to reject contract proposals that are key to improving their work-life balance as well as "American’s operational reliability."  

The flight attendants have been working under a contract that became amendable in 2019, according to the APFA. 

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APFA National President Julie Hedrick said their work schedules are "built to the limit with reduced rest," which doesn't allow for a lot of leeway when weather impacts American's hub cities and flights. 

"American is trying to operate a schedule that is stretched thinly, with little consideration for quality of work and personal life," Hedrick said. 

People wait for their luggage at an American Airlines baggage claim at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport on August 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Not only would these contract proposals offer schedule flexibility, but they would also provide "adequate compensation, and work rule improvements," according to Hedrick. 

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Meanwhile, American says it has been meeting regularly with the APFA "to reach an agreement that benefits both our flight attendants and operation." 

The airline also noted that it respects the right of flight attendants to picket and agrees that they deserve to be paid "well and competitively." 

American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, on July 21, 2021, at Boston Logan International Airport in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (AP Photo/Steven Senne / AP Newsroom)

The airline also clarified that this action will not affect its operations. 

The pickets are planned to take place at bases in Boston, New York, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas.

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AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.14.68-0.20-1.34%

The move comes just weeks after American Airlines pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association, also rejected an offer by the Dallas-based carrier, which included raises of 19% over two years, because it failed to address scheduling issues. 

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The APA has not only been seeking higher wages, but it was also looking for improved schedules especially as the industry continues to grapple with a staffing shortage. 

Union spokesman Dennis Tajer told FOX Business in a statement earlier this month that "American management has done very little to address contract provisions regarding schedule reliability and instead focused more on keeping mainline pilots’ pay increases as low as possible."

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