The Communications Workers and the Teamsters have reached a tentative first contract for 15,000 passenger services agents at American Airlines, bargaining chair Ron Collins, a top CWA official, said on Oct. 1. “We could not have reached this agreement without the support of our local union leaders, mobilization team members, and every member who supported the organizing and mobilization efforts over the past several months and even years. In particular, the mobilization activity in the last few days made a huge difference at the table and demonstrated the power of our unity,” Collins said. If ratified, the pact would complete the arduous path agents at American and USAirways took to reach an agreement after the two airlines merged. It also would be the second joint big win for the Teamsters and CWA. On Sept. 30, those two unions and others announced members had ratified a nationwide pact covering thousands of workers at the American Red Cross. Collins said the pact with American “makes major improvements in wages and benefits,” including an immediate 3 percent wage hike to match the pay at New Delta – the non-union Delta Airlines, which devoured wall-to-wall union Northwest several years ago. Wages will also rise another 9 percent over the pact’s five years, Collins said.
- PAI; photo: American Airlines passenger service agents Cassandra Rosenbach, Sherri Chatmon and Lisa Cooper pose last year at Chicago's O'Hare Airport after agents at the newly merged airline voted on union representation; photo courtesy CWA.