Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Want to Strike Soon

June 13, 2024: Another flight attendant strike is a slight possibility after the union representing Alaska Airlines gave the carrier two weeks to reach a tentative contract or face possible action.

Members of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) last week voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in February, with 99.48% of crew members who voted supporting a walkout. Talks have continued since then, but with no deal on the table, AFA-CWA told members last week that “if management won’t make the deal, we’re preparing for next steps under the Railway Labor Act,” which could mean a strike.

Just like other airline employee strikes, a strike by AFA-CWA would need the permission of the National Mediation Board (NMB), which has to approve a strike only after a mandated 30-day cooling-off period. This is the same process that American Airlines flight attendants are currently going through.

That process makes flight attendant strikes, and other strikes by airline unions, increasingly rare. American’s flight attendants, for instance, have been asking the NMB to give the okay to strike for the better part of the last year, a request that has been rejected despite months of failed negotiations.

Flight attendants from Frontier Airlines, also represented by AFA-CWA, have also recently taken action, filing for federal mediation with the NMB in light of negotiations with that airline.

Nothing can happen until the NMB makes a decision favoring strike action, which does not have any kind of timeline. The AFA is still pushing. Recently, it secured the support of 178 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who signed on to push the NMB to consider releasing unions into the 30-day cooling-off period. It is now pushing members to campaign their Senators to do the same.

Update: June 22, 2024, Alaska Airlines Reaches Tentative Deal