American Airlines is working to avoid a strike by offering flight attendants an immediate 17% wage increase. The airline made this proposal on Wednesday as negotiations with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) continue without an agreement. 

The two parties have been in talks for a while but have not reached a deal on issues such as pay. Robert Isom, the CEO of American Airlines, announced the proposal in a video to employees.

American Airlines Attempts to Prevent Strike with Wage Proposal

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American Airlines Urges Deal to Avoid Strike

Flight attendants at American Airlines have not had a contract raise since before the pandemic started. In his announcement, Isom highlighted the airline's effort to provide more pay now by presenting a new proposal to the APFA. 

According to CNBC News, this proposal includes the 17% wage increase and a new profit-sharing formula meant to benefit all flight attendants without demanding anything in return from their union.

Isom acknowledged that, although there has been progress in several key areas, there are still many issues that need resolving. He emphasized that these steps are part of an unusual strategy due to the extraordinary circumstances the industry faces today.

Julie Hedrick, the national president of APFA, said the union's board would review the proposal later on Wednesday. She expressed that the airline should focus more on reaching a comprehensive long-term agreement with the flight attendants, suggesting that the current proposal might not fully address their concerns.

Moreover, as negotiations have dragged on, the union has prepared for the possibility of a strike by setting up a "strike command center." This center is equipped with dedicated phone lines and other resources to support flight attendants. 

Hedrick mentioned that federal mediators are scheduled to meet with both parties next week in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement.

While pilots for U.S. airlines secured new labor deals last year, flight attendants at American Airlines, along with their counterparts at United and Alaska Airlines, are still in ongoing negotiations.

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American Airlines Wage Offer Rejected by Union

American Airlines' attempt to avert a strike hit a roadblock as flight attendants rejected a 17% wage increase proposed by CEO Robert Isom. 

This offer was made directly to the flight attendants via a video message amid ongoing negotiations with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). APFA President Julie Hedrick criticized the approach, accusing Isom of attempting to circumvent formal union negotiations.

As per Forbes, the union, which has recently set up a strike center in Dallas, voted unanimously against the proposal. They are pushing for a contract that not only matches but exceeds the industry standard set by competitors like Delta, which includes additional benefits such as boarding pay.

Talks are scheduled to continue next week in Washington with a mediator from the National Mediation Board. 

Hedrick emphasized the importance of focusing on these critical negotiations rather than making direct appeals to union members. 

The union remains firm in its demand for a more comprehensive deal, reflecting the flight attendants' growing frustrations with American Airlines' offers.

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