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San Diego flight attendants return to picket over stalled contract negotiations

Flight attendants across major airlines protesting outside San Diego airport
Posted at 8:42 AM, Jun 13, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dozens of flight attendants hit the picket line outside of San Diego International Airport's Terminal 2 on Thursday, demanding an end to stalled contract negotiations for 80,000 flight attendants.

The San Diego flight attendants joined thousands of others across 30 other U.S. airports for what they called a “worldwide day of action.”

The flight attendants belong to the union known as the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).

AFA picketed as airlines such as United, American, and Alaska meet this week to pick up contract negotiations once again.

In a press release sent to ABC 10News, Local Alaska AFA Council 15 President Brice McGee said AFA flight attendants are frustrated at airlines buying more aircrafts and adding more destinations, and some flight attendants haven't had a raise in years.

ABC 10News spoke with Timothy Truman, Vice President of Local Council 12 for San Diego and Los Angeles flight attendants, back in December, and he said their demands included:

  • Improved hourly wages
  • Pay for ground time
  • Improved benefits
  • Improved schedules

Truman also said junior flight attendants have been suffering the most during stalled contract negotiations.
"We all live in California and it's expensive," Truman said. "We need our pay and benefits to match. We're not living in La Jolla. We're living in some of the lowest cost areas of San Diego County."

ABC 10News searched for statements from Alaska, United, and American airlines regarding the stalled contract negotiations discussions this week.

Alaska Airlines issued a statement on June 13 that said, in part:

"We remain optimistic in the negotiations process and are committed to reaching an agreement that pays our flight attendants the increased wages they deserve while also preserving our business model. With seven recently closed labor deals at the company, including a new contract for our aircraft maintenance technicians reached in February, we’re hopeful to do the same for our flight attendants as soon as possible."

Alaska Airlines' statement also acknowledged the pickets taking place Thursday, and said it respects and supports the flight attendants’ rights to do so.

Alaska Airlines also said it did not expect any disruption to their service.

United Airlines provided the following statement to 10News about the situation:

"We’ve been meeting in regular negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants and the federal mediator they requested, and more dates are scheduled throughout the summer and fall. We are eager to reach the industry-leading agreement our flight attendants deserve."

American Airlines has yet to comment on the picketing.