Q: Is L-VX now under AFA? Are we one union? If so, how is it possible that L-VX is not brought up to current L-AS pay standards immediately? Are we not all Flight Attendants? We all do the same job, just on different planes. If we are now viewed as one company by the FAA, L-VX FAs should be treated as so. If the pay issue was managed and we were all on the same level, the conversation would be very different. This has become “us” vs. “them.” Why is Afa not putting their foot down and making sure L-VX is at the L-AS pay scale immediately? How can the union represent both if we are not even? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest?
A: There is a legal answer to the question and a non-legal answer to the question.
Legal answer: There is nothing compelling management to bring the L-VX Flight Attendants up to the L-AS pay and work rule standards. AFA advocated for that as soon as AFA represented the L-VX Flight Attendants in April 2017. Management did not agree to do so, but AFA did secure an interim pay raise and other improvements for L-VX–just not up to the L-AS rates or work rules.
Non-legal answer: In a public employee meeting, Alaska CEO Brad Tilden, answered a similar question by admitting that management did not bring the L-VX Flight Attendants up to the full Alaska rates in order to maintain pressure on AFA in merger negotiations. That is the real reason.
AFA represents both the L-VX and L-AS Flight Attendants. AFA fought for the L-VX Flight Attendants to enjoy the L-AS pay and work rules from the very moment we represented the group in April 2017. Although management agreed to interim pay rates back then, it held out agreeing to closing the remaining gap in wages as leverage to reach an agreement on the merger. AFA can and has put its proverbial foot down, but mutual agreement with management is required in order to achieve improvements to wages and work rules.