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AirTran Airways Crew to Strike

AirTran Airways flight attendants that are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) are due to strike in 6 cities over the next 6 weeks. The union says they are protesting the continued stalling of contract negotiations.

The carrier’s management had approached the AFA, after its acquisition by Southwest Airlines was announced, to request an abbreviated list of their greatest concerns in order to accelerate negotiations. However, the management responded to the short list proposal with a minimal counterproposal that didn’t even address the most basic work and rest provisions. The counterproposal was rejected, and the union filed for National Mediation Board services the day after.

AirTran Airways flight attendant and AFA Flight Attendant Mobilization chairman Stephen Grimaldi said that they don’t want to have to take their fight to the street, but they deserve fair work rule improvements. Management has dragged their feet for too long, he added, and enough is enough.

The strike was scheduled to start today (Valentine’s Day) at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where AirTran Airways is the second largest airline. The cabin crew will also walkout at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Chicago Midway International Airport, the Orlando Shareholders Meeting, General Mitchell International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport over the next 6 weeks, pending a tentative agreement is or isn’t made.

The AFA has been serving as the voice for cabin crew for over 60 years. It represents almost 50,000 flight attendants at 21 carriers, making it the largest union in the world. The union is also part of Communications Workers of America, which has 700,000 members.

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