US Airways flight attendants vote to strike

Washington DC
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US Airways flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) have voted 94% in favour of a strike at the airline.

The union is calling for the Tempe, Arizona-based carrier to complete a joint contract between its America West Airlines and US Airways flight attendant groups, it says. The airlines merged in 2005.

The National Mediation Board must release both parties from negotiations after which there would be a 30-day cooling off period before a strike could begin.

"We don't want to strike," says Roger Holmin, president of AFA representing US Airways flight attendants, and Deborah Volpe, president of AFA representing America West flight attendants, in a joint statement. "We want to work for a successful airline. Profits are soaring but flight attendants still shoulder the sacrifices forced through bankruptcy a decade ago as well as disparate, industry-low pay of a first contract from 1999."

"The National Mediation Board has not released the union to strike," says US Airways. "There will be no operational or flight disruptions during the holiday travel season."

"The union has told our flight attendants that the strike vote is about positioning at the bargaining table and not about striking. The union has not requested that the National Mediation Board cease the mediation and negotiations process," it adds.

The 6,800 flight attendants at US Airways rejected a joint tentative agreement with the airline by a one percentage point margin in September.