Sunday, March 28, 2010

Will AA flight attendants strike? Ex-TWA flight attendants hope so
Charlie Leocha on February 10, 2010

Have no doubt about it, in the current “negotiations” between American Airlines and its flight attendants, the flight attendants union, Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), have already shot themselves in the foot. The the airline knows that it has a ready, willing and able workforce of ex-TWA flight attendants who will happily break any APFA sanctioned strike.There is no love lost between ex-TWA flight attendants and APFA. The AA union refused to negotiate with the TWA union to blend flight attendants into their ranks when AA bought TWA back in April 2001.

According to AA’s slogan at the time, the purchase would mean, “Two Great Airlines” Sharing “One Great Future.” But after giving lip service to the TWA employees and the U.S. Congress to obtain a fast track approval of the acquisition, the airline when faced with APFA grumblings abandoned the TWA flight attendants. This group of unionized workers are unique in the airline industry in terms of how they were treated by the acquiring airline, its union and the government.

The TWA flight attendants were unceremoniously “stapled” to the bottom of the AA flight attendant list. This is the equivalent of kicking sand in the other union’s face.

Under this cockeyed seniority system original AA flight attendants with only days on the job were ahead of TWA flight attendants with almost decades of flight experience. Some of the TWA veterans were let go just days before retirement.

I don’t believe that even one ex-TWA flight attendant is flying for American Airlines today.
I know plenty of TWA flight attendants who want to fly again and who would love to have a chance to kick some sand back in APFA’s face. Ex-TWA flight attendants felt that they were more mistreated by their new union than they were by AA and TWA honchos. Their careers were stolen from them by a bad union.

And, I’ll bet there are trained flight attendants from other airlines who have been furloughed recently who would take AA jobs in a heartbeat.

Plus, many of the international flights to South America are already crewed (according to contract and bilateral agreements) by non-union foreign flight attendants. Something tells me there are a lot more flight attendants where those came from.

So, no matter what the leaders of the current flight attendant union claim in their negotiations with AA, their eventual capitulation to company demands is baked in the cake.

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