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American Airlines, union fail to reach deal on new contract

REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE/FILE PHOTO
                                An American Airlines commercial aircraft approaches to land at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif., in January 2022. A union representing flight attendants for American Airlines Group said on Thursday that the latest round of talks with the carrier did not lead to an agreement this week.
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REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE/FILE PHOTO

An American Airlines commercial aircraft approaches to land at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif., in January 2022. A union representing flight attendants for American Airlines Group said on Thursday that the latest round of talks with the carrier did not lead to an agreement this week.

A union representing flight attendants for American Airlines Group said on Thursday that the latest round of talks with the carrier did not lead to an agreement this week.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents about 28,000 American Airlines flight attendants, said it has moved closer to a strike as the airline did not present a favorable agreement.

The airline’s flight attendants, however, cannot walk off the job until the National Mediation Board (NMB) grants them permission.

The board will first have to determine that both the parties are at an impasse and further bargaining would not be productive. This lengthy and complex process makes it rather difficult for airline workers to strike.

Last year, the NMB denied a request from the union to be released from federal mediation.

American Airlines in an emailed statement to Reuters on Thursday said it will continue to negotiate with the union so that its flight attendants benefit from the contract.

“This agreement is within reach and we look forward to additional dates being scheduled,” the airline spokesperson said.

The current round of negotiations started in January 2020, but was paused at the height of the pandemic. Talks resumed in June 2021.

Earlier this month, the airline had offered its flights attendants immediate wage increases of 17% in their new contract, which was later unanimously rejected by the APFA.

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