Alaska Air, flight attendants reach tenative labor deal

Staff writerDecember 16, 2013 

Alaska Airlines has reached a preliminary deal with the union representing its 3,300 flight attendants for a new, 5-year labor contract.

That tentative agreement must be approved by the union's leadership and ratified by its membership before it can go into effect.  That ratification vote is expected to be accomplished by mid-February.

No details of the proposed contract were immediately available Monday.

The existing contract became amendable in May 2012.  In the airline industry, contracts don't expire, but rather "become amendable" when their term expires.  The terms of the existing agreement remain in effect until a new agreement is approved or until a strike happens. To strike, a union must reach a dead end in talks and submit to various arbitration and mediation efforts.

It's not uncommon in the airline business for airlines and their unions to continue negotiating long after the amendable date.

Jeffrey Peterson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants Master Executive Council at Alaska, were steadfast in their belief that any new agreement recognize flight attendants' role in helping Alaska prosper.

"We are proud partners in the great success of Alaska Airlines," he said.  It is now up to flight attendants to review the details and decide if it recognizes our innumerable contributions," he said.

"We are very pleased to have agreed on a proposed contract that recognizes the contributions of our outstanding flight attendants who play a key role in providing our customers with safe travel and award-winning service," said Andy Schneider, Alaska's vice president of inflight services.



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