Flight attendants at American Airlines seek approval to go on strike
(MENAFN) Flight attendants at American Airlines are seeking federal approval for the option to go on strike, potentially disrupting travel during the upcoming Christmas and New Year's rush. However, American Airlines has emphatically stated that there is "no possibility" of a walkout over the holidays. The flight attendants' union leaders express frustration over the lack of progress in negotiations for a new contract, highlighting that workers have not seen raises since 2019.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants officially petitioned the National Mediation Board on Monday, requesting a declaration of negotiations as deadlocked. Following this, the union seeks permission for a strike after a mandated 30-day "cooling-off period." The move reflects the escalating tensions between labor and management.
Simultaneously, Southwest Airlines is witnessing unrest among its pilots, who have established a "strike center" in Dallas. Officials from the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association have indicated their intent to request the right to strike if a contract deal is not reached in the coming days. A digital countdown at the pilots' union headquarters signals the potential for a strike on December 29.
Despite these developments, the likelihood of an actual strike remains uncertain. Federal regulations make it challenging for airline workers to engage in a strike or for carriers to implement lockouts. Strikes and lockouts are legally permissible only if federal mediators declare negotiations at an impasse, allowing either side to resort to "self-help." Even then, the president or Congress retains the authority to intervene and prevent a strike that could have adverse economic repercussions.
The last instance of a U.S. airline union strike occurred in 2010, involving pilots at Spirit Airlines. The current situation raises concerns about the potential impact on holiday travel plans and underscores the delicate balance between labor disputes and the broader economic considerations in the aviation industry.
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