Some 400 to 500 flight attendants at Alaska Airlines rallied and marched on Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Aug. 15 for a contract that meets their demands.
The workers have not had a significant pay raise for the life of a nine-year-old contract that has been extended twice, first due to a merger with Virgin Atlantic, and then due to COVID-19. Yet Alaska Air had $9.6 billion in revenue in 2022! Revenue was even higher, $10.34 billion, during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2023.
The flight attendants have promised a strategy of “CHAOS” — Create Havoc Around Our System, meaning unannounced work stoppages – as they fight for a living wage and better working conditions. Many workers carried the sign, “Pay us, or CHAOS!”
Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told the crowd that as labor they have all the power — the power to shut this country down. She talked of being on the picket line with the striking actors and writers and the importance of solidarity with all of labor. Nelson thanked the pilots and machinists along with other union members who joined the march on Sea-Tac Airport.
The flight attendants marched on the airport on the hottest day of the year in Seattle, but first stopped and chanted at the Alaska Airlines headquarters. They stood and continued chanting at the airport entrance for over an hour. The airport is dominated by Alaska Airlines planes.
Honks from workers driving trucks, buses and other transport vehicles never stopped.
The rally, march and mass picket showed the AFA members’ determination to struggle for what is rightfully theirs.
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