Now, the union is expected to wait to see what the National Mediation Board wants to do, but one labor expert said he expects a third vote on a tentative contract sometime in 2013, given the narrow defeat announced Thursday, with 51% of flight attendants opposed.
"We are working on next steps and remain committed to achieving a contract US Airways flight attendants can ratify," Corey Caldwell, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said Friday.
With about 85% of eligible flight attendants voting, the count was 2,801 against and 2,704 in favor: Revised figures vary slightly from the initial count announced on Thursday. A swing of 49 voters would have resulted in contract approval.In Charlotte, 64%, or 1,123 flight attendants, were opposed, while 611 voted in favor --- a gap of 512 votes. In Philadelphia, 834 votes, or 51%, were opposed. But in Phoenix, 1,142, or 62%, were in favor. At Washington National, 154, or 53%, voted in favor. (A one-vote discrepancy remains in these crew base numbers.) The tentative agreement would have brought a single contract following a 2005 merger between US Airways and America West, whose flight attendants (and pilots) still work under separate contracts. Both groups would have received substantial raises and job protections in the US Airways contract would have been retained and extended to America West. The airline has indicated its flight attendant costs would have increased by about $40 million annually. Apparently, one source of the opposition in the Charlotte base is that many Charlotte flight attendants formerly worked at predecessor Piedmont Airlines, where they were disadvantaged because they were not paired with pilots in scheduling. Because the tentative agreement eliminates pairing with pilots, many former Piedmont flight attendants were opposed, said a flight attendant who asked not to be named. Contract advocates say flight attendants would actually benefit from the discontinuation of pairing. The chairman of the Charlotte base declined to comment.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV