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Bridge the Gap

Tefere Gebre talks to Flight Attendants
AFL-CIO

Did you know that flight attendants and workers for regional airlines are often paid 45% less than their colleagues at major carriers for doing the same work?

That’s why AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre (UFCW) joined his fellow labor leaders at a rally to call out this injustice and demand it be fixed.

Executive Vice President Gebre joined Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) International President Sara Nelson, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Larry Willis, Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts and UNITE HERE Deputy Director Alisa Gallo to build support for flight attendants. The flight attendants are in contract negotiations with Air Wisconsin Airlines, Endeavor Air and PSA Airlines and serve passengers flying with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Check out a few highlights from the speakers below, and watch the rally here.

  • Gebre: “When we fight, we win! Your fight is my fight!”

  • Nelson: “It’s just not right, and it’s certainly not fair. Airlines aren’t hurting, but many airline employees are. We’re fighting to fix that.”

  • Willis: “The most important tool working people have to get ahead—union membership—is being vilified. We won't stand for it!”

  • Roberts: “They’re telling us they’re going to pay us different even though we’re doing the same job? We’ve had it up to here with this division!”

  • Gallo: “Everyone who shows up at these workplaces...makes sure that passengers are treated with respect, get where they’re going safely and [workers] deserve the same respect back from those enormously profitable companies.”

Air Wisconsin’s flight attendants, who service United and have been negotiating since July 2016, recently voted to authorize a strike for better wages and working conditions. This news comes just a few weeks after 2,700 catering workers at United voted overwhelmingly to join UNITE HERE.