Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – New York) claims “it is unacceptable that some of the same attendants who care for us the skies must resort to sleeping in cars because their pay is so low.” While showing solidarity with the union representing American Airlines flight attendants is hardly a surprise for AOC, is her living in cars claim correct?
Really? AOC Claims American Airlines Flight Attendants So Poorly Paid That Some Must Sleep In Cars
AOC claims that some flight attendants for American Airlines have to sleep in their cars because they are not paid enough:
American Airlines flight attendants are on the picket line at LGA and across the country demanding a fair contract.
It is unacceptable that some of the same attendants who care for us the skies must resort to sleeping in cars because their pay is so low.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 17, 2023
That’s quite a charge. I’d love to know on what basis she is making this claim. Is this for a full-time employee at American Airlines mainline? Is this by choice? How many FAs are sleeping in cars?
Full-time flight attendants at American Airlines are already paid a living wage, full stop. That’s not to say that I do not support pay raises commensurate with inflation for these workers (and others). That’s reasonable. Furthermore, I believe that companies should be severely penalized via punitive taxes if their employees are paid so little that they are forced to seek public assistance. But I don’t think that is the case here for any flight attendant who chooses to work full-time.
In any case, as View From The Wing notes, the union plans a strike announcement on Monday that will coincide with Christmas:
This afternoon, your APFA Negotiating Committee met with your Board of Directors to brief them on the status of negotiations, including the next step: a request to the National Mediation Board to release us into a thirty-day cooling-off period.
On Monday, November 20th, we will communicate information regarding this week’s negotiations and next steps, including the APFA Board of Director’s action on the request to the NMB to be released to strike.
Flight attendants hope to secure boarding pay (as non-unionized employees at Delta Air Line already enjoy) and a much higher hourly pay for their duty hours. Thus far, the two sides are very far apart on hourly wages.
It could be a very turbulent Christmas.
AOC claims flight attendants are so poorly paid at American Airlines that some are resorting to sleeping in their cars. Frankly, I question that…but would love to hear from flight attendants at AA. Are you sleeping your cars? If so, is by necessity or choice?
image: AOC / X