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American Airlines CEO Robert Isom has offered flight attendants an immediate 17% wage increase amidst ongoing contract talks that have failed to yield a deal. The airline and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants have been in disagreement on key issues, such as pay, leading to tension and a potential strike on the horizon. Flight attendants have not seen a contract raise since before the pandemic, making the need for a resolution even more pressing.

Isom addressed flight attendants in a video message, acknowledging some progress in the negotiations but emphasizing that there is still much work to be done. The union and the airline are set to meet with federal mediators in the coming week in a final attempt to reach an agreement. Flight attendants have been instructed to prepare for a possible strike, a rare occurrence in the airline industry.

In an effort to alleviate tensions and provide some immediate relief, Isom proposed a 17% wage increase for flight attendants, along with a new profit-sharing formula. This gesture is significant as it demonstrates the airline’s commitment to improving pay for its employees without seeking concessions in return. The proposal is currently under review by the APFA board, with further discussions scheduled for later in the day.

The national president of the APFA, Julie Hedrick, expressed the importance of prioritizing a long-term agreement that addresses the needs of flight attendants beyond just immediate financial gains. The union has also established a “strike command center” to provide support and guidance to cabin crew members as tensions escalate. While pilots at other U.S. airlines have successfully secured new labor agreements, flight attendants at American Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines are still in the midst of negotiations.

In a bipartisan effort to expedite the negotiation process, a group of over 160 House representatives have urged the National Mediation Board to assist in reaching resolutions between airlines and flight attendants. The pressure from lawmakers underscores the significance of these contract talks for both employees and the aviation industry as a whole.

Overall, the situation at American Airlines highlights the challenges and complexities involved in labor negotiations within the airline sector. As stakeholders continue to navigate the path towards a comprehensive agreement, the well-being of flight attendants and the operational stability of the airline remain top priorities.

Business

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