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American Airlines

AA flight attendants to stage mock strikes

Nov 05, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas — Flight attendants at American Airlines say they will hold mock strikes around the country this month and could seek permission for real strikes early next year.

The union is protesting stalled contract talks with American, the nation's second largest airline.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Thursday that the Nov. 18 protests at airports around the country would show that some flights wouldn't operate during a real strike.

"This is only a symbolic demonstration to show management that flight attendants are willing and able to do whatever is necessary to get a fair contract," said union President Laura Glading.

The union, which represents about 18,000 workers, said it would not disrupt service during the holidays.

American and the union have scheduled bargaining sessions into next year. If there is no agreement in January, the union said it will ask federal officials to declare a 30-day cooling-off period, the last step before a strike.

Federal law makes it difficult for airline employees to strike, and work stoppages have become rare in the industry.

American's flight attendants conducted what was widely viewed as a successful strike in 1993, which ended with President Bill Clinton ordering the airline back to the bargaining table. American's pilots walked off the job for a few minutes in 1997 before Clinton ordered them back to work.

In the past year, leaders of the three unions representing American Airlines pilots, flight attendants and ground workers have sought pay raises and other changes to offset concessions they made in 2003. The airline has said it needs to reduce labor costs.

AA flight attendants to stage mock strikes
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Source: AP

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