Advertisement

Piedmont Airlines flight attendants vote to authorize strike

Piedmont is a subsidiary of American Airlines and operates roughly 400 regional flights a day, with many originating or passing through Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:57 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

This article has 1293 words with a read time of approximately 1 minute and 27 seconds.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Flight attendants with Piedmont Airlines voted Thursday to authorize a strike. According to a press release issued Thursday afternoon, 100 percent of the flight attendants voted to strike.

Piedmont is a subsidiary of American Airlines and operates roughly 400 regional flights a day, with many originating or passing through Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

About 100 of Piedmont’s flight attendants are also based in the Queen City. The flight attendants have said they want higher pay and better working conditions. This has been a long battle. The Association of Flight Attendants has been in contract negotiations with the airline for three years. The big increase in the number of unruly passengers on flights during the pandemic seems to have sped up the need for resolution on this contract.

“Flight attendants are fed up. They are ready to do whatever we need to do to get a fair contract and livable wages,” Keturah Johnson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants for Piedmont Airlines, said.

Johnson issued more comments in Thursday’s press release.

“Flight Attendants kept Piedmont flying through the pandemic. How does management thank us? By offering a ‘deal’ that would mean cuts to our take-home pay. 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. Enough is enough. Piedmont Flight Attendants can’t afford to work at Piedmont,” wrote Johnson.

According to Thursday’s press release from AFA, no strike will happen right away, but it could happen in time for Thanksgiving travel. The release states that the AFA could request that the National Mediation Board (NMB) declare that negotiations are deadlocked. Both parties would then enter into a 30-day “cooling off” period, which would then lead to a strike deadline.

The president of the AFA for Piedmont said they are also planning to do intermittent striking called ‘CHAOS,’ where they could secretly strike any flight.

She says that could happen at any time, a worrisome thought for frequent flyers like Kathy Williams.

“That would be awful because a lot of people depend on flying, especially if they have to go long distance,” Williams said. “A lot of people can’t drive long distance, like me. I have an elderly mom so it takes a toll. That’s why we’re flying today.”

Piedmont Airlines released the following statement to WBTV Thursday night:

We are dedicated to getting a competitive contract negotiated for our more than 350 Piedmont Flight Attendants. We have the most professional Flight Service professionals in the industry, and Piedmont is a leader in safety and performance because of their efforts. We are in agreement our team members deserve the best contract and we are committed to delivering that to them. We look forward to getting back to negotiations in November.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.