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Flight attendants from an American Airlines regional carrier voted unanimously to strike. Represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, the Piedmont Airlines employees are looking to protest against low wages and benefits. According to the union, starting flight attendants make less than $17,000 annually, while 10-year veteran flight attendants only make $28,000 yearly. Around 75% of the company’s 350 flight attendants voted.

The union has been negotiating with the management regarding their sentiments. However, the company offered a new contract with a small pay increase and higher health premiums. According to the union, the proposed contract will make flight attendants earn less.

Piedmont Airlines Employees Can’t Walk Off Soon

Piedmont Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines. It is based in Salisbury, MD, and flies to more than 50 destinations on the east coast.

AFA Piedmont President Keturah Johnson said that “We are already paid less than our counterparts at other regional carriers, and far less than mainline flight attendants doing the same work at the American Airlines Group”.

Although union members voted unanimously to strike, it will take months before they can walk off the job. Under the complex federal rules, the flight attendants will first need to get permission from the National Mediation Board before they can formally strike. It means that the union will need to prove that the negotiations are at a deadlock. Then, the mediation board will then call for a 30-day “cooling-off period” before there will be a strike deadline.

Piedmont Airlines issued a statement and said that “We are in agreement our team members deserve the best contract and we are committed to delivering that to them”. It added that “We look forward to getting back to negotiations in November”.

But for AFA International President Sara Nelson, “Piedmont Flight Attendants want a fair deal”. She added that “if it takes a strike, we’ve got their backs across the industry”.

John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


by Virgin America Flight Attendant
TJ Newman