For Immediate Release Contact:
May 7, 2015 Jeffrey Peterson 206-999-8207
Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Union Pledges to Support Contract Employees’ Fight for Fifteen
Seattle, WA (May 7, 2015) – Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), issued a statement today in support of Alaska Airlines contract workforce in their fight for $15 an hour and a union.
AFA has a long, proud history of supporting workers throughout the airline industry and we believe that all jobs in our airports and on our airplanes should be good jobs with union rights, safe working conditions, fair wages and quality affordable health insurance. Alaska Airlines’ contractors, including Menzies Aviation, BAGS, DGS, Huntleigh and Aviation Safeguards should be no exception.
Contract airport workers employed by Alaska vendors at many of its West Coast airports are being held back in their struggle to improve the quality of their jobs, win a voice on the job and ensure safer working conditions. These workers move our passengers’ luggage, clean our planes and provide wheelchair assistance to our passengers in need.
All workers performing services for Alaska Airlines should receive their fair share of the wealth that we are all helping to create. As Alaska Air Group continues to make record profits, our airline management and its selected vendors should not stand in the way of these workers trying to form their own union.
Ten years ago this month, Alaska Airlines executives made the decision to outsource almost all of our baggage handlers. This is after having outsourced much of our heavy maintenance and all of our cabin cleaners. While these decisions have helped the airline to return investment to shareholders, they also eliminated thousands of middle class jobs. Today, these contracted out jobs are with low pay and few benefits. The cities of Seattle and SeaTac recently raised their minimum hourly wage, yet Alaska Airlines is standing in the way of SeaTac workers fully realizing the wage increase. We need sustainable jobs for thriving communities to ensure the continued success of Alaska Airlines.
As aviation’s first responders and the last line of defense, Flight Attendants understand that all workers in aviation are part of the safety and security web that continues to keep our skies the safest in the world. Through our membership in AFA, we are able to partner with our management and the FAA on programs keeping safety at the forefront as we continually improve our practices. All frontline workers performing service on behalf of Alaska have the right to the same types of safety programs – and travelers deserve the assurances these safety programs provide.
In the best interest of Flight Attendants, shareholders and the passengers in our care, Alaska’s contract workers need to be able to exercise their voice and work with the company to address their unique safety concerns through their membership in unions.
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The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.