An overwhelming 99.47% of American Airlines flight attendants have voted to authorize a strike, with over 93% of eligible flight attendants participating in the vote. American Airlines (AA) is operated by over 26,000 flight attendants who are demanding better pay and working conditions against the corporation’s reported $1.3 billion profit in the second quarter of 2023. Their union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is one of three main unions representing flight attendants in the US, alongside the Transportation Workers of America and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which is led by international president Sara Nelson.
Labor struggles have shaped the airline industry in the United States, and with support for unions at a historic high, a flight attendant strike would be a powerful tool to flex behind their demands. AA flight attendants are demanding a 35% one-time wage increase along with 6% annual raises and increased benefits.
And they wouldn’t be alone! Entertainment writers organized in the WGA have been on strike for more than 100 days. SAG-AFTRA actors are exploring a widening of their strike to video game companies. At informational pickets to announce the strike authorization, AA flight attendants were joined by airline ramp workers, pilots, actors, writers, and transportation workers from other industries and unions. Although #SolidaritySummer is coming to a close, significant potential actions are on the horizon, reminiscent of Striketober in 2021.
To see the more traditional, ‘heavy battalions’ of the working class in logistics, warehouses, and transportation escalating with major action is key to reversing the race-to-the-bottom workers have faced in the neoliberal era. The Big Three Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, Stellantis) and the United Auto Workers union (UAW) are negotiating a new labor contract with a real possibility of escalating into a strike — around the same time the American Airlines…