A group of American Eagle Airlines flight attendants protested on Tuesday "outrageous" demands and cuts proposed by the airline's parent company.
A couple dozen Association of Flight Attendants-CWA members demonstrated outside Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. against the airline's plan to slash salaries.
American Eagle has asked unions to agree to salary reductions and other cost-saving measures in order to save money and jobs. To date, the airline has not followed in the steps of American Airlines who filed a section 1113 (c) motion in federal court to abolish their union contracts.
"Restructuring the company is a difficult but necessary process. Every employee group -- unionized, independent, support staff and management -- will be affected. We are meeting with representatives from each union to negotiate the changes needed to make us successful, and are focused on reaching consensual agreements. Our goal is to exit as a growing, profitable company that preserves thousands of jobs," said Bruce Hicks, American Eagle spokesperson.
The AFA said it is facing an attack on its contracts under what it calls the "cloak of bankruptcy. Members said they have been negotiating a package for work-rule and benefit improvements and a pay raise for the past two years. Flight attendants say the bankruptcy should not affect that progress.
"The stuff they're trying to do right now is taking us back to the 1980s," said Robert Barrow, president of the AFA American Eagle Master Executive Council. "The biggest problem with us at American Eagle, we chose to make a career with this company because it was a good company to work for. Flight attendants are really skeptical about the kind of futures they have with this company. It's going to impact our customer service ratings. It seems American Eagle is on the race to the bottom of the barrel."
American Eagle remains hopeful that labor contracts with their unions can be amended before being forced to follow American Airlines into federal court.