Panel rules against American Airlines flight attendants on pay raise

American Airlines flight attendants will get an additional 1.6 percent pay raise, an arbitration panel ruled Tuesday.

The Fort Worth-based carrier and its flight attendants union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, had disagreed on how big the pay raise should be as part of a pay adjustment negotiated in the 2014 collective bargaining agreement.

American said the pay adjustment should be based on Delta’s flight attendant wages that existed when the agreement was signed in 2014 and United Airlines new contract. Since it took United until mid-2016 to negotiate a new flight attendant contract, American gave flight attendants a 6 percent raise in the spring of 2016. American then planned to give flight attendants an additional 1.6 percent raise in September.

However, the APFA argued that its members’ pay should reflect Delta’s new pay rates that went into effect in early 2016.

The panel agreed with American’s formula and the company said it will implement the new pay rates in mid-May. It will also make a lump sum payment to flight attendants as the raise is retroactive to September.

“All in all, these [raises] amount to approximately 9.6 percent in total pay increases since April 2016,” the company said in a memo to flight attendants.

The APFA believed flight attendants have been denied an 8.18 percent raise, on top of the 6 percent raise it received last year, that would have matched Delta’s pay rates.

“For a workforce which has made this company and its recent merger an outstanding commercial success, today’s ‘raise’ is insulting,” said APFA president Bob Ross in a hotline message to flight attendants on Tuesday evening.

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