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Alaska Airlines flight attendants picket for fair wages in SeaTac

Aug 16, 2023, 11:25 AM

Alaska Airlines picket...

Alaska Airlines has been rank number one in Customer Service for several years. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Alaska Airlines flight attendants are demanding fair wages and say contract negotiations are taking too long.

Picketers were seen outside of Alaska Airlines headquarters on International Boulevard in SeaTac Tuesday afternoon.

Signs with slogans like “First in Passenger Satisfaction and Sixth in Pay” and “Pay Us or Chaos” were seen being carried by the group.

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The flight attendants are currently in negotiations for a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA). The JCBA was ratified in April 2018 and extended in May 2021. It became amendable on Dec. 17, 2022. But the Flight Attendant Union said talks have been going on for nearly a year with little progress.

“They’re making billions of dollars, and they’re past due paying us,” said Sara Nelson, the President of the Association of Flight Attendants. “We were essential workers during the pandemic. We’re essential workers now. And we essentially need to get what we’re owed.”

Alaska Airlines said in a statement:

We remain committed to reaching an agreement on a new competitive contract that fairly compensates flight attendants … but also maintains an emphasis on productivity that is critical to the sustainability of the company’s business model.

According to the job search site Indeed, Alaska Airlines flight attendants make an average of $31 an hour but can make up to $62. That’s 20% above the national average.

The last major contract was enacted nine years ago, and flight attendants said they’ve seen very few changes since.

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Alaska does not anticipate any flight disruptions related to the picketing. Federal law restricts most transportation workers’ ability to legally strike as long as negotiations are ongoing. Before any strike or lockout by an employer, a mediation process would have to occur.

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Alaska Airlines flight attendants picket for fair wages in SeaTac