America West – US Airways merger leaves flight attendant pay unequal


America West flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), today requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) resume Section 6 mediation in order to reach an agreement which would cover the Phoenix-based flight attendants. After the America West merger with US Airways in 2005, AFA-CWA has spent three years attempting to negotiate a single contract for all flight attendants.

“While US Airways CEO Doug Parker states that we are now one company, wages for our flight attendants still differ up to 40 percent with our co-workers on the east,” said Lisa LeCarre, AFA-CWA America West president. “America West flight attendants and our US Airways flying partners perform the same safety duties and wear the same uniform. It is time that Mr. Parker starts to honor his word instead of stalling the process for thousands of employees.”

Prior to the merger, America West flight attendants spent considerable time negotiating a new contract, but those negotiations were paused with the expectation that US Airways would reach a merged contract with both groups. Flight Attendants at America West have not received general wage increases since November 2002. US Airways management has repeatedly rejected proposals by AFA-CWA for interim parity increases for West flight attendants. Flight attendants from US Airways East are receiving modest wage snap backs that were negotiated into their 2004 concessionary contract so the gap in pay parity between east and west flight attendants continues to increase each year.

“The current America West contract, negotiated for a five-year duration, is now ten years old. Our flight attendants have gone six years without any wage increases. We simply cannot continue to drag along these negotiations with no relief in sight,” said LeCarre.

America West flight attendant negotiations began in February 2004, with the US Airways merger following in September 2005. Negotiations for a single, merged flight attendant agreement have been ongoing since February 2006.