Flight attendants' union sues USAir over shuttle

September 29, 1992|By Bloomberg Business News

WASHINGTON -- The Association of Flight Attendants is suing USAir Group to force the company to extend the AFA's labor contract with USAir to flight attendants on the USAir Shuttle.

Although the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) announced the suit yesterday, it was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia last Wednesday.

The union is basing its argument on an Aug. 10 ruling from the National Mediation Board. The board ruled that USAir and the USAir Shuttle are a "single transportation system."

That ruling made the AFA, a member of the AFL-CIO, the legal representative of the 232 USAir Shuttle flight attendants and nullified the shuttle attendants' existing relationship with the Transport Workers Union, the AFA said.

Not counting the shuttle attendants, the AFA's current contract with USAir covers about 8,750 employees.

The AFA maintains that the shuttle attendants' Transport Workers Union contract expired when the mediation board made its decision.

"USAir and the USAir Shuttle are legally one company, and there is absolutely no reason for the two flight attendant groups to be treated differently," said AFA's president, Dee Maki, in a statement.

On a hourly basis, USAir attendants working under the AFA contract make about 40 percent more than shuttle attendants on the union contract, according to Edward Gilmartin, counsel for the AFA.

USAir took over the Washington-New York-Boston shuttle from the Trump Shuttle last April.

Officials at Arlington, Va.-based USAir couldn't be reached for comment.

If the AFA gets its way, the shuttle attendants will get a raise just as most employees at USAir are seeing their pay cut or frozen.

USAir has been trying to win wage cuts and other concessions from employees as part of an overall program to reduce this year's operating costs by about $400 million. As part of this program, its pilots' union recently agreed to take temporary pay cuts.

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