Q. What passenger service professionals are represented by CWA?
A. In the airline industry, CWA members include about 20,000 passenger service professionals at American Airlines, Envoy Airlines, and Piedmont Airlines. In addition, the union represents over 60,000 flight attendants at 19 air carriers through the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA).
Q. How does building a union work?
A. Building a union means talking to your coworkers, discussing issues, building a community and working toward majority support.
Q. How do union dues work?
A. Members do not pay dues until a contract is negotiated, voted on, and approved. There are no dues applied to overtime, extra shifts worked, or when members are not receiving a paycheck.
Dues are a very small percentage of each worker's pay and vary based on hourly salary and full-time/part-time status.
Q. I’m happy with what I have, could a union contract ever be worse than the status quo?
A. No. Current conditions and pay are the starting point for negotiations, and the company is legally required to maintain current conditions and pay until a contract agreement is reached. With a union, workers have the ability to decide their own priorities. Wages, working conditions (including flexibility), and benefits are all negotiable. The full contract must be voted on and approved by members.
Q. Do unions protect bad employees?
A. Unions are required by law to represent all their members. If an employee is not performing up to par, it is the company’s responsibility to coach, counsel, and train that employee to bring him or her up to standard. If the company has written proof that they have coached and counseled an employee who is not up to standard then it’s hard for the union to provide much protection. The union also has the right to decide that money will not be spent on arbitration, which is the final step of a grievance procedure.
If an employee has not been coached and counseled by management, then the union has the obligation to ensure that worker is represented and receives the proper training or coaching. The union ensures that all regulations, rules and contract items are enforced in the same manner for all employees.