Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, recalled the 1993 strike in a recent statement. "Labor relations were toxic back then," she said. "There will always be some conflicts, but we've found more effective ways to resolve them."

Glading made the point that labor relations at American have improved significantly in the ensuing 20 years. Three union leaders including Glading were the key enablers of the planned merger with US Airways. That deal will create the world's largest airline with hubs in the Northeast, the Southeast,  the Midwest, the Southwest and the West Coast. 

The merger "will soon transform American from a floundering second-tier airline to a network carrier capable of competing with United and Delta (DAL) ," APFA said. "APFA members are looking forward to the end of a turbulent 20 years at the company."

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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