Flight Attendant Union Warns of Long Security Lines as DHS Diverts Transportation Security to Southern Border
Serious Concerns over Shift of TSA Security Roles to Non-Security Work
Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2019) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) released the following statement expressing serious concern over Department of Homeland Security contingency plans to divert $230 million from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to fund operations on U.S.-Mexico border:
“Moving $232 million from TSA’s already-stretched budget sets the stage for reduced check points and long security lines. This move is fundamentally about making the agency not work in order to build an argument for privatization. Reduced staffing at checkpoints isn’t just an inconvenience–when TSA is stretched thin, it increases the risk of a serious security breach. As the busy summer travel begins, it couldn’t be a worse time undermine important safety programs and endanger the safety, security and comfort of the traveling public.
“Flight Attendants often bear the brunt of frustrated travelers, making our workspace more volatile. Long lines also threaten air travel ticket sales and on-time operations. TSA’s mission statement is clear: ‘to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.’ AFA previously opposed any plans to divert people and resources from this mission.
“The proposed cuts will be felt this summer and in years to come. They will delay purchase of advanced screening equipment and other mission-critical investments designed to keep travelers safe and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of security, as well as undermine programs to support TSA workers and keep them on the job.”
Flight Attendant Union Reaches Contract Terms with American Regional PSA Airlines
Washington (May 17, 2019) – PSA Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), and PSA Airlines today agreed to terms on a collective bargaining agreement for over 1,300 Flight Attendants.
Details of the tentative agreement will not be made public until next week after they are released to the Flight Attendants.
BREAKING NEWS: United Express Carrier Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants Say Negotiations Are At An Impasse, Ask Government To Impose Deadline on Talks
WASHINGTON — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) representing United Express carrier Air Wisconsin flight attendants has petitioned the National Mediation Board for a proffer of arbitration/release from mediation, which could start the clock for a potential flight attendant strike 30 days later.
“Enough! Flight Attendants are living in poverty while airlines are making billions off their backs,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. “The aviation scam of the century is undervaluing Flight Attendants and other workers at regionals who provide the backbone service of mainline networks. The Air Wisconsin story is among the worst example of this with first year flight attendants making as little as $15,000 a year and others who have gone without a raise for 12 years are no longer able to keep up. Flight attendants have voted 99 percent to strike, if necessary, and today we are formally requesting a release from mediation to move these negotiations to conclusion. This is our number one contract fight.”
In a letter submitted to the National Mediation Board (NMB), AFA said it believes a proffer of arbitration and release from mediation is necessary to move the parties to agreement. The next step under the statute is a 30-day cooling-off period that ends with a strike deadline.
Today, Air Wisconsin flight attendants are demonstrating at Washington Dulles International Airport. They are joined by AFA union leaders, flight attendants from across the country and labor allies in the region.
“What happens at one airline, affects us all and Flight Attendants across the industry are standing with Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants for a fair contract,” Nelson stated.
Flight attendant negotiations at Air Wisconsin have been overseen by the National Mediation Board since 2017. In November 2018, Air Wisconsin flight attendants voted by 99 percent to authorize a strike. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system, a single airport, or a single flight. The union decides when, where and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.
Air Wisconsin is a regional airline, headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin operating CRJ-200 regional jets. Air Wisconsin previously operated as an American Eagle regional air carrier. As of March 2018, Air Wisconsin operates exclusively as a United Express regional air carrier.
AFA Commends Heroic Aeroflot Flight Attendants on Flight 1492
The Association of Flight Attendants – CWA (AFA), representing 50,000 Flight Attendants at 20 airlines, mourns the loss of Flight Attendant Maxim Moiseyev who died on the burning Aeroflot 1492 aircraft while trying to save lives. AFA President Sara Nelson released the following statement on the accident:
“Our hearts are with the crew and passengers of Aeroflot 1492. We offer deep condolences for the loved ones of the 41 people who died, and especially for the family and friends of our colleague Maxim Moiseyev. We know he died while working desperately to save lives and together with the rest of his crew 37 people survived this horrific incident. He did save lives and he will be remembered as a hero.”
“Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders. Flight Attendant Tatyana Kasatkina ‘grabbed passengers by the collar’ to evacuate people as quickly as possible. The crew were all heroes and our union will honor their action through official recognition. We offer them any support we may give as they grapple with this tragic event. We will also ensure their horrific experience and the lessons from it are never forgotten.”
Welcome to the NEW Air Wisconsin AFA Website
Welcome to the new Air Wisconsin AFA-CWA page. From here, you can view information about our Union, about our Locals, our Master Executive Committee, as well other pertinent information about AFA.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of your LEC or MEC Officers. You can also send an email to Michael.Bounds@arwafa.org, and a reply will be given within 24 – 48 hours.
Air Wisconsin AFA Shoutout at BOD
During the 2019 Board of Directors Meeting in Denver, CO – Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants received special recognition during Sara Nelson’s Presidential Address. She spoke about Jackie Schmidt, our # 1 Flight Attendant on the Seniority List not having a pay raise in several years (and all of us) – and used Lauren Week’s catch-phrase “We want pay raises, like y’all want quick turns.“
Appleton (ATW) Picketing Coverage
On March 15, 2019 the ARW – AFA MEC and others picketed in Appleton, Wisconsin showing solidarity and unity in their fight for higher pay, better benefits, and other items. Check out the media coverage below.
Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants Picket at Appleton International Airport
Air Wisconsin AFA News
LEC 03 Vice President Derric McDaniel Speaks at a “May Day” Event in Chicago, IL on 5/1/19
On May 1, 2019 – LEC 03 Vice President Derric McDaniel took part in the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Illinois Labor History Society’s “May Day” at the Chicago Haymarket Monument. This event commemorated the Haymarket Martyr’s and the fight for an eight – hour work day, coupled with other worker’s rights.
Thank you Derric for representing the Air Wisconsin Airlines Flight Attendants at this event.
Flight Attendants Cheer the Cabin Air Safety Act to Stop Toxic Fumes in the Cabin
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today praised Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative John Garamendi (D-CA), along with Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), who introduced the Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019 to protect airline passengers and crew from the harmful effects of toxic cabin air.
“Senators Blumenthal, Feinstein, and Markey and Representative Garamendi are true champions for clean air onboard planes for Flight Attendants and passengers. We thank them and encourage their Senate colleague to join this legislation as cosponsors. Our workspace is the public’s travel space and in that space today, crews and passengers are breathing toxins and it has to stop,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson.
AFA’s efforts to improve the cabin environment span the last three decades, from advocating for smoke-free skies to stopping poisonous pesticide spraying to addressing the dangers of contaminated bleed air. We advocate that the airline industry either end the use of engine bleed air for cabin air supply like on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or mitigate the circulation of contaminated air. In 2015, AFA was an active member of the ICAO task group that published Circular 344, which advises airlines to enhance their operational procedures to minimize onboard exposure to smoke and fumes. This led to an FAA Safety Alert published in 2018.
“Most Americans go to work with the expectation of breathing clean air. Flight Attendants don’t have this guarantee, and it is past time for that to change.” Nelson stated.
The Cabin Air Safety Act is bills in the House and Senate are H.R.2208 and S.1112, respectively.
Selene Saavedra Roman Statement After Release from ICE Detention
Washington, DC (March 22, 2019) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) is overjoyed that after 6 weeks in ICE custody, Mesa Flight Attendant Selene Saavedra Roman was released this evening.
“Being released is an indescribable feeling. I cried and hugged my husband and never wanted to let go,” stated Selene Saavedra Roman. “I am thankful and grateful for the amazing people that came to fight for me, and it fills my heart. Thank you to everyone that has supported. I am just so happy to have my freedom back.”
The union issued a statement earlier this evening as well.
Flight Attendant Union Statement on the Release of Selene Saavedra Roman
Washington, DC (March 22, 2019) — Following the release of Mesa Flight Attendant Selene Saavedra Roman after 6 weeks in ICE custody, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) provided the following statement:
“I often say ‘Solidarity is a force stronger than gravity,’ and that proved true today. Since we launched our petition less than 18 hours ago, tens of thousands of flight attendants, social justice activists, political leaders, airline executives and everyday Americans from all walks of life came together to speak in one voice and demand Selene’s release. Today, solidarity won. We are deeply grateful to everyone who lifted their voices and helped reunite Selene with her husband. We will continue fighting to ensure that she is protected from any future intimidation or harassment and allowed to return to her life as a flight attendant peacefully.“
This event highlights the urgency of commonsense immigration reform and resolution for America’s children who are part of DACA. Our country is strong through our diversity. We are stronger together and better together.”
Flight Attendant Union and Mesa Airlines Seek Release of Selene Saavedra Roman
Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2019) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) and Mesa Airlines are calling on the Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to immediately review the case of DREAMer Selene Saavedra Roman, release her from detention, and drop all charges against her after she was detained during while working as a certified flight attendant.
“We are deeply sorry Selene and her husband have had to endure this situation. It is patently unfair for someone to be detained for six weeks over something that is nothing more than an administrative error and a misunderstanding,” said Mesa Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein. “We are doing everything in our power to ask the administration to release Selene, and drop all charges stemming from this horrible situation.”
“Our union is mobilizing and we will not stop fighting until Selene is returned home and all charges dropped,” said Sara Nelson, AFA President. “We will fight with every tool at our disposal until justice is done, Selene is reunited with her husband and cleared of these outrageous charges.”
Selene came to the United States as an undocumented child from Peru at 3 years old. She grew up in Texas, graduated from Texas A&M, attained legal status under Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), and married a U.S. citizen. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have already granted her I-130 Petition, which puts her on the path to lawful permanent residency.
Despite the fact that she is lawfully in this country with the ability to work and has a pathway to permanent residence, Selene has been held since February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a privately-run detention facility in Conroe, Texas. She is threatened with deportation to Peru, a country she has never known.
“She has followed the rules, paid taxes, and is currently in process to citizenship,” said Nelson. “The United States is her country and we need to bring her home.”
Air Wisconsin AFA Leaders Represent Flight Attendants at 2019 BOD
The 47th Annual Board of Directors Meeting was held in Denver, CO this year on April 20. This one – day budget only meeting focused on the current strategic initiatives of the Union.
Pictured here are your ARW – AFA MEC members (and guests), as well the AFA – CWA International Officers.
From left to right starting on the second row: Juli Biggar, LEC 29 (MKE) President; Jaime Martinez, LEC 03 (ORD) President; Mikaela Macanas, MEC Vice President; Kevin Creighan, AFA – CWA International Secretary; Peter Swanson, ARW Staff Attorney.
Pictured left to right on the front row: Guy Bosworth, AFA International Staff Representative; Deb Sutor, AFA – CWA International Vice President; Sara Nelson, AFA – CWA International President; Ernie Lazernick, MEC President & LEC 28 (IAD / CAE) President; Michael Bounds, MEC Secretary – Treasurer; and Derric McDaniel, LEC 03 (ORD) Vice President (Guest).
Flight Attendant and Labor Allies Rally to Bridge the Gap!
The AFA Executive Board and labor allies from the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, United Mine Workers of America, and UNITE HERE! rallied in Washington, D.C. at the House of Labor to #BridgeTheGap for Flight Attendants and aviation workers at regional airlines. Flight Attendants at Air Wisconsin (United), PSA (American), and Endeavor (Delta) are currently in negotiations.
“Flight Attendants at regional airlines serve as aviation’s first responders on American, United, Delta. They do the same work and care for the same passengers as mainline Delta, American, and United flights, but are compensated on average 45% less,” said Sara Nelson, AFA President. “It’s just not right and it’s certainly not fair. Airlines aren’t hurting, but many airline employees are. We’re fighting to fix that.”
Watch our very own President Ernie Lazernick state “For too long my fellow Flight Attendants have served our passengers with superior service to help Air Wisconsin profit millions of dollars only to receive an empty “thank you for a job well done.”” Enough is enough!