Alaska Flight Attendants Have Tentative “Record Contract”

Alaska Flight Attendants Have Tentative “Record Contract”

At the moment, we’re seeing flight attendants at most major US airlines trying to ratify new contracts (except at Delta, where flight attendants aren’t unionized). Flight attendants largely haven’t had pay increases since before the pandemic, and are looking for significant raises, to reflect the inflation we’ve seen in recent years.

Back in April, Southwest flight attendants became the first to ratify a new contract, and it’s probably the richest flight attendant contract we’ve ever seen, in terms of wage increases, retroactive pay, and more.

There’s now a positive update for another US airline, as Alaska flight attendants now have a tentative agreement on a new contract, which should help with labor relations at the Seattle-based oneworld carrier.

Alaska flight attendants reach new tentative agreement

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents Alaska’s flight attendants, has just announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with Alaska management for a “record contract.”

The union describes this tentative agreement as having been reached with the help of the National Mediation Board (NMB). Over the past week, negotiations took place in Washington, with AFA International President Sara Nelson and AFA General Counsel in attendance, along with Alaska Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen.

Exact details of the contract aren’t yet being released. The union states that in the coming days, both parties will “work to clean up the contract language to present the full text of the TA to the Master Executive Council.” The Master Executive Council will then vote to release the agreement for a full membership ratification vote.

Back in February 2024, Alaska flight attendants voted to authorize a strike, with 99.48% of participants voting in favor of a strike (and 93.47% of flight attendants participating in the vote). So it’s good to see that there’s finally some common ground between management and the union.

However, I wouldn’t assume it’s a given that the membership will necessarily ratify the new contract. For example, Southwest flight attendants rejected the first tentative agreement they were presented by the union during their negotiations, and only ratified the second agreement, after additional improvements.

Alaska flight attendants have been fighting for a new contract

I’m curious how lucrative this contract is

It’s interesting how the union is referring to the tentative agreement as a “record contract.” Is that suggesting that this is the most lucrative contract that has been negotiated in the entire industry so far, or just a record for the airline (which seems like it would be a given)?

The reason I ask is because historically Alaska hasn’t exactly had the best pay in the industry. The airline has paid much better than ultra low cost carriers, but not consistently to the same level as carriers like Southwest.

Southwest flight attendants have ratified a new contract whereby they get immediate 22% pay increases, and 3% pay increases in each of 2025, 2026, and 2027. On top of that, they received retro pay, which comes out to around $18K per flight attendant. Does that mean Alaska flight attendants are getting contracts that are even more lucrative?

With a second carrier now nearing a new contract, this should also help American flight attendants with getting a new contract, as American has had the most hostile negotiations on a new contract.

I’m curious how lucrative this new contract is

Bottom line

The union representing Alaska flight attendants has announced that a tentative agreement has been reached for a new “record contract.” The details are expected to be released in the coming days, so it’ll be interesting to see the details.

It’s great news that flight attendants at a second US airline are nearing a new contract, as it should help with this cycle of negotiations, providing stability to passengers (though perhaps a little less stability to the bottom line of airlines).

What do you make of Alaska flight attendants getting a tentative agreement on a new contract?

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