Flight Attendants at New United Airlines Unify in World's Largest Flight Attendant Union

Date: June 29, 2011
Type: AFA Media Release
Contact: Corey Caldwell at 202-434-0586

Association of Flight Attendants Elected to Represent Nearly 25,000 Flight Attendants

Washington, DC – Flight Attendants from United, Continental and Continental Micronesia airlines today elected the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) to be their union at the new United.  The merger brings new opportunities and the conclusion of this election sets the stage for Flight Attendants to unify and become full participants in the benefits of the merger.

“United Airlines Flight Attendants built our profession starting with the first union contract 65 years ago and they will once again lead the industry,” said Veda Shook, AFA International President.  “This election is an historic moment for AFA and our profession. As we welcome our colleagues from Continental and Continental Micronesia, our combined strength is greater than ever and we are poised to make significant strides for Flight Attendants and their families.”

“United Flight Attendants are energized and ready for our future,” stated Greg Davidowitch, AFA president at United Airlines.  “We will negotiate for the priorities set by today’s Flight Attendant as we maximize our leverage to set the highest standards at the world’s leading airline.  Flight Attendants are dedicated to ensuring a successful merger and fully participating in its benefits.”

“Our profession is unique and I am proud to become a member of the union that is responsible for shaping the career I love,” said Frank Brown, Continental Flight Attendant. “From this moment forward, we are no longer Flight Attendants from different unions, we are Flight Attendants in AFA, the Flight Attendant’s union.  There is no limit to what we can accomplish by standing together.”

AFA was elected with 55.1% of the vote.  While waiting for the election results to be certified by the NMB, AFA has initiated transition plans for representing Continental and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants.  A temporary representation structure for Continental and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants will be put in place as AFA immediately initiates the process for membership election of union officers.

“All of us in CWA are proud of the work done by thousands of Flight Attendant mobilizers and other CWA sisters and brothers who worked tirelessly to build unity at this difficult and critical time,” said Larry Cohen, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President. “Now we must focus on collective bargaining and helping Flight Attendants fight for a contract that moves toward restoring the living standards that were ripped away in bankruptcy.  United is strong, and Flight Attendants and other workers need to share in that success.”

“This election showcased how Flight Attendants maintain and advance our profession through activism in our union.” stated Sara Nelson, AFA International Vice President. “It is an exciting day as we welcome Continental and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants and look forward to the extraordinary contributions they are bound to make.  Together we are the strong voice for our profession.”

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for over 65 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions.  Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 23 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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