American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages
In late November, CWA President Chris Shelton contacted the CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work, including American Airlines, to ask them to guarantee the $4,000 wage increase and new jobs promised by the Republican corporate tax cut.
While we are pleased that our request has prompted American to pay employees a one-time $1,000 bonus, it falls short of the permanent wage increase that working families were promised.[caption caption="Envoy workers picket for fair wages in December 2017." align="right"]
American continues to insist on paying poverty-level wages to passenger service agents at its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Passenger service agents play a critical role in ensuring the safety of thousands of passengers each day, yet many agents at these airlines earn less than $11 an hour and qualify for food stamps and other public assistance.
These agents, represented by CWA, are currently in contract negotiations. Despite American's continued profitability and the massive windfall from the tax bill, Envoy and Piedmont are refusing to offer fair wages as part of these negotiations.
"Passenger service agents at Envoy and Piedmont serve passengers in communities across this country, from big airports like Dallas-Fort Worth to smaller locations like Knoxville, TN," said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 Vice President and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "It's time for American to invest in these communities by increasing wages so that working people at Envoy and Piedmont can have family-supporting and community-building careers, instead of living paycheck to paycheck."
CWA represents more than 25,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines, including its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Overall, CWA represents 700,000 working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.