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Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Secure 32% Pay Raise in Tentative Labor Agreement

TL;DR intro

  • Pay Raise:Alaska Airlines flight attendants to receive a 32% pay raise under a tentative three-year agreement.
  • Additional Benefits:The deal includes boarding pay, improved holiday and overtime pay, and 20 months of retroactive pay.
  • Union Vote:Union members to vote on the agreement by August 14.

Alaska Airlines has reached a tentative three-year labor agreement with its flight attendants, promising an average pay increase of 32%. The agreement, announced by the union representing the flight attendants, marks a significant step forward in employee compensation.

First-of-Its-Kind Boarding Pay

For the first time, the agreement makes boarding pay legally binding for unionized flight attendants. Typically, flight attendants in the U.S. are paid only after the aircraft's doors close, excluding the time spent onboarding passengers. The union emphasized that this boarding pay results in significant pay increases.

This new contract comes amid broader demands for better pay and benefits across the U.S. airline industry. Pilots and flight attendants have been pushing for improved conditions following the pandemic, which halted travel and led to record profits for airlines due to pent-up demand.

In February, Alaska Airlines' flight attendants authorized a strike for the first time in thirty years. This tentative agreement, which avoids a potential strike, includes not only the pay raise but also enhancements to holiday and overtime pay and 20 months of retroactive pay.

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Voting and Ratification

Union members will vote on the agreement later this month, with the voting period ending on August 14. This development comes as North American pilots continue to negotiate for better pay and working conditions, with some unions even voting to authorize strikes if new contracts are not reached.

Comparative Industry Negotiations

Other airlines have also seen significant contract negotiations and settlements:

  • American Airlines: Pilots approved a new contract with $9.6 billion in total pay and benefits over four years, including an immediate 21% pay raise.
  • Southwest Airlines: Pilots approved a strike mandate with 99% voting in favor.
  • Delta Air Lines: Pilots ratified a new contract with over $7 billion in cumulative increases in wages and benefits over four years, including a 34% pay increase.
  • Air Canada: Pilots ended a decade-long contract framework, paving the way for full bargaining this summer, aiming to close the earnings gap with U.S. carriers.
  • WestJet Airlines: Pilots secured a 24% hourly raise over four years in a tentative agreement reached just before a planned strike.
  • United Airlines: Pilots reached a new four-year labor agreement with a 34.5%-40.2% cumulative pay hike.
  • Spirit Airlines: Pilots ratified a new contract offering a 27% economic gain over two years.
  • JetBlue Airways: Pilots approved a two-year contract extension with a 21.5% compensation increase over 18 months.
  • FedEx: Pilots rejected a tentative contract deal, with negotiations expected to resume under the National Mediation Board's supervision.
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The tentative agreement between Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants signifies a crucial development in the ongoing efforts to improve compensation and working conditions in the airline industry. As union members prepare to vote, this agreement highlights the broader trend of increased labor negotiations and settlements across major airlines, reflecting the growing power and support for unions in securing better terms for their members.

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