CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly 300 flight attendants for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, voted unanimously Thursday to authorize a strike.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA says of the 75.4% of flight attendants that participated in the vote, 100% approved the strike. Due to the vote, the association can request the National Mediation Board declare negotiations to be deadlocked for a 30-day period, leading to a strike deadline.
“Piedmont Flight Attendants are speaking with one voice to demand management get serious about resolving our contract,” AFA Piedmont President Keturah Johnson said. “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.”
According to a petition organized by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the strike comes in response to small raises that don't keep up with rising health care costs. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said its flight attendants have been "engaged in contract negotiations for more than three years."
Piedmont flies to more than 50 cities nationwide, with bases in Charlotte and Philadelphia. The company's website says it operates nearly 400 daily flights throughout the eastern U.S.
In a statement to WCNC Charlotte, PIedmont Airlines said, "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."
Flight attendants with Piedmont and their supporters picketed outside of the Philadelphia International Airport after the strike vote.
American Airlines announced its deadline for all U.S.-based employees to submit proof of vaccination or face termination. Employees have until Nov. 24 to submit full proof of vaccination to the company in accordance with President Biden's mandate.
"To be clear, if you fail to comply with the requirement, the result will be termination from the company," read a portion of a letter obtained by WCNC Charlotte.
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