For Immediate Release: December 9, 2008
Contact: Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586
Northwest Flight Attendants Reiterate Date of Hire Seniority Integration
Washington, DC - Northwest flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), reiterated their position on "date of hire" seniority integration after arbitrators announced yesterday the long-awaited decision in the Delta Air Lines pilots' union case. After failing to reach an agreement between pilots at Northwest Airlines and Delta, leaders from each council agreed to let a third party panel determine the process for integrating the two seniority lists.
"At AFA-CWA, Northwest flight attendants have a clear cut position regarding seniority integration which is fair and simple; date of hire," said Kevin Griffin, AFA-CWA Northwest President. "An honest integration process that respects our years of service enables the combined flight attendant group to come together even quicker and unite as we become the largest flight attendant group in the world."
In the aviation industry, seniority determines everything from flight attendants' hourly wages, to where they are based and what trips they fly. AFA-CWA has been at the forefront of protecting seniority rights since federal regulators stopped requiring such safeguards, part of the Allegheny-Mohawk Labor Protective Provisions, in the 1980s. Last year, AFA-CWA worked with leaders on Capitol Hill to pass a federal provision that would prevent any flight attendant group from being forced to the bottom of a combined seniority list in the event an airline merger.
"The recent arbitration ruling highlights the importance of our fight to keep our over 60 years of collective bargaining rights. If Northwest flight attendants lose union representation, this decision gives us potential insight as to how our seniority integration process could proceed. While we understand the complexities of the pilots' situation, seniority integration is far too important to outsource to a third party. The only way to protect and honor the years of service we have dedicated to our careers is through guaranteed date of hire."
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.