On Monday, February 6, nearly 400 flight attendants from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and local Los Angeles labor activists held a lively demonstration at Los Angeles International Airport. Flight attendants from across the world, aviation and airport employees and trade unionists from Southern California sent a powerful message to the public that workers’ rights are vital to the lifeblood of our great nation. The event, appropriately titled “OccuFLY,” featured inspirational remarks and was a reminder of the power of solidarity.
Los Angeles-based American Eagle Flight Attendant Adam McDonald was particularly moved by the event. Faced with the uncertainty that American Airline’s bankruptcy will bring to workers at the subsidiary, McDonald was moved by the OccuFLY message.
As my flying partners and I face a management using bankruptcy as a giant hammer, it was extremely reassuring to see so many activists gathered together for a common cause. Across the country, from Wisconsin to Ohio, collective bargaining rights are under attack. I’m hopeful that by working together and standing side by side, we can make great strides in advancing and protecting our rights as workers.
An anti-labor provision was inserted in the FAA reauthorization bill following a backroom deal struck by House Republican leadership and Senate leadership. Changes to the Railway Labor Act, one of the nation’s first labor laws, will virtually ensure that employers will tie up union elections through endless litigation and exposing confidential authorization cards to management through legal maneuvers. Through industry consolidation, current contracts could be jettisoned and union representation canceled.
Maria Elena Durazo, LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Secretary noted that airport worker union groups, inspired by OccuFLY and those who have taken a stand for social and economic justice, formed the first ever LAX Labor Alliance and look forward to supporting collective bargaining rights and building opportunities for all Americans.
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