Flight attendants for Alaska Airline picketed outside Sea-Tac Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, as part of a nationwide protest campaign.
Workers said they have been working for four years without a contract, and are demanding what they assert is their first substantial wage increase in nearly ten years.
Chanting slogans like “Record profits, corporate greed, Alaska pay us what we need,” the demonstrators waved placards, prominently displaying signs that read “Pay us or Chaos.”
The protest mirrors a broader movement taking place across the nation. As the airline industry contends with financial ups and downs, flight attendants are voicing their concerns over wage stagnation and demand fair compensation for their essential roles.
The demonstration serves as a reminder that – despite recent corporate successes – front-line workers are striving for equitable treatment in line with their contributions to the company’s prosperity.
The rallying flight attendants said they hope to draw the attention of both the airline’s management and the public to their cause, emphasizing the necessity of addressing their salary demands after years of relative pay inertia.
Alaska Airlines Responds
Below is a statement from an Alaska Airlines spokesperson we received regarding this protest:
“Since September 2022, together with AFA we have closed over 50 tentative agreements. In June, we provided an initial economic offer that included industry-leading top of scale wages, but unfortunately, AFA’s counter proposal included cost increases throughout the agreement that just weren’t economically feasible, and we were unable to reach an agreement.
“The vast majority of our frontline employees are represented by a union, and our union partners make us a stronger company. Some off-duty Alaska flight attendants may have participated in informational picketing yesterday. We respect their protected right to engage in these activities and do not expect any disruption to our operation or service during flights as a result.
“We remain committed to reaching an agreement on a new competitive contract that fairly compensates flight attendants and continues to provide significant flexibility, but also maintains an emphasis on productivity that is critical to the sustainability of the company’s business model. This is ultimately good for flight attendants and the entire Alaska family, as maintaining growth and profitability enables us to hire more people and continue to provide all employees with competitive pay and benefits, invest in new planes, and fly our guests to new destinations.
“We look forward to resuming negotiations this week and have meetings scheduled with AFA through November.”
Below are some photos of the picketing: