The National Mediation Board has denied a request from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to be released from federal mediation. The news was confirmed Tuesday by the union and American Airlines. The two sides have been in contract negotiations for nearly five years.
If the request had been granted, the two sides would have entered a 30-day cooling-off period after which a strike by American’s more than 26,000 flight attendants might have been possible. Now mediation will continue.
APFA president Julie Hedrick released the following statement:
“As of today, the National Mediation Board (NMB) has denied our request for release into a 30-day cooling-off period. Flight Attendants at American Airlines are working under wages negotiated in 2014 while management continues to drag out bargaining with contract proposals that do not address the current economic environment.
Corporate greed is alive and well at American Airlines. For far too long, airline management has exploited workers, funneling profits into their own pockets, as evidenced by American management’s recent lucrative bonus and incentive program.
Like many Union Siblings across industries and occupations, we are not backing down. We will intensify our pressure on the company and continue to assert our rights under the Railway Labor Act governing airline and railroad Unions.”
American Airlines also released a statement following the NMB’s decision:
“We look forward to continued negotiations with APFA and reaching an agreement our flight attendants have earned.”