Teamsters and CWA picket American Airlines at airports

American Airlines aircraft parked together.
Prayitno, Los Angeles, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Passenger service workers at American Airlines who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) – International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Association held informational pickets nationwide earlier this week.

The workers, who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) – International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Association, have been in bargaining with American Airlines for nearly a year. They are seeking improved job security, safety, wages, and working conditions.

Picket action took place at several airports across the country on August 15.

“We’re fanning out across the country to let the flying public know that American Airlines needs to stop playing games and bargain a fair contract for these workers,” said Kim Barboro, Teamsters Airline Division National Coordinator for Customer Service and Flight Attendants and Co-Chair of the CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association.

American Airlines wage concerns


The association represents the reservations agents, gate and ticket counter agents, customer assistance agents, and club and travel center agents at American Airlines. Many of the workers have not received a raise in nearly four years, despite American Airlines earning $1.3 billion in profits last quarter.

“These are the essential service workers who have had to face the brunt of the increase in unruly passenger behavior,” said Joe Ferreira, Teamsters Airline Division Director. “They deserve a contract that reflects not only how profitable this industry has become, but how their jobs have changed.”

“We are the lowest paid passenger service and reservation workers among our peers in the airline industry,” said Lynn Koch, a Teamsters Local 104 member who serves on the CWA-IBT Passenger Service Association Bargaining Committee. “It is far past time we are paid wages that reflect our status as the world’s largest airline.”

The informational pickets were held at airports across the country, including Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The workers held signs and chanted slogans, calling on American Airlines to bargain in good faith.

The pickets are the latest in a series of actions taken by the workers to pressure American Airlines into reaching a fair contract.

The workers have also held rallies and marches, and they have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that American Airlines has engaged in unfair labor practices.

The workers are hopeful that the pickets will help to bring American Airlines to the bargaining table and that they will eventually reach a fair contract.

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