Sky Talk

No. 3 American flight attendants reject contract


Sixteen votes out of 16,000 cast.

That was the margin of defeat of a contract offer from American Airlines management that included wage increases. The five-year contract was worth $193 million more than the combined contracts of American and US Airways flight attendants.

Both union leaders and company management were disappointed with the vote as it sent American and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to binding arbitration. The union asked for “me-too” clauses on profit-sharing and healthcare and to make wages retroactive to December 2.

The arbiters granted none of the union’s requests and imposed a contract that was $81 million less than the contract offer flight attendants rejected.

But it wasn’t all disappointment for flight attendants.

In December, American made two announcements: first that it would add back all of the pay raises that had been rejected and then that most rank-and-file workers would get 4 percent raises in 2015.

With the raises, American flight attendants’ pay rates will be 7 percent higher than those at Delta. First year flight attendants will make $24.18 an hour while senior flight attendants will make $55.58 an hour starting on January 1, 2015.