Flight attendants at American Airlines and US Airways are a step closer to becoming one.
US Airways flight attendants voted in favor of an agreement Friday allowing the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to become their bargaining agent.
The union represents attendants at American Airlines. The ones at US Airways are now represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.
Once the representation agreement is filed with the National Mediation Board, APFA will represent 24,000 flight attendants at the new American Airlines. The agreement calls for contract talks to begin with American management within 60 days.
“We will work diligently over the next year to ensure our contract reflects our valuable contributions to the success of American Airlines. Unity pays,” said AFA US Airways President Roger Holmin.
American has agreed to meet with the flight attendants’ negotiators for the next five months to try to reach a new contract.
“With this ratification vote, we can hit the ground running on negotiations for a new joint contract,” APFA President Laura Glading said.
The two unions previously agreed on a seniority integration process based on dates of hire for attendants.
The negotiating process includes arbitration if the two sides can’t agree on contract terms and sets a timeline that could lead to a deal being in place by early 2015.
American CEO Doug Parker congratulated union leaders for quickly reaching agreements on contract bargaining and union representation.
“We are very pleased that the people of American are working together in an environment of coordinated, collaborative teamwork and mutual respect to restore American as the greatest airline in the world,” Parker said in a statement.