WASHINGTON, DC – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman today stood in solidarity with American Airlines flight attendants at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The senator was joined by union leaders Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants (APFA)-CWA, AFL–CIO, and UAW President Shawn Fain, as well as two of his constituents, APFA DCA President John Pennel and APFA DCA Vice President Dianne Britton.
Senator Fetterman spoke with union members, talked to press, walked the rally line, and gave remarks to the crowd. He called on American Airlines CEO Robert Isom to raise wages and invited him to visit his office on the Hill to “talk it out.”
“It’s astonishing that an airline that made $2.6 billion in profits hasn’t given you a raise since 2019,” said Senator Fetterman to the workers. “I’m going to tell you the same thing I told the UAW workers – make them pay until they pay you what you deserve.”
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the independent union that represents more than 26,000 American Airlines flight attendants. Despite reporting record profits this year, American Airlines management has refused much-needed raises and other contract improvements for the flight attendants, leading to a strike authorization vote of 99% from union members. If the workers do strike, it will be the first in 30 years, with the last strike occurring in 1993.
Senator Fetterman has long been a vocal advocate for the union way of life and against corporate greed. In addition to joining striking UE workers at Wabtec in Erie and five different UAW picket lines, he has consistently expressed support for workers fighting for recognition and their fair share, including striking Post-Gazette workers in Pittsburgh, Teamsters at UPS, writers with WGA, and performers with SAG-AFTRA. He has also used his legislative power to protect and expand the rights of organized labor, most notably introducing the Food Secure Strikers Act of 2023, legislation to allow striking workers to qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. He is also fighting to preserve the union way of life through the PRO Act and to raise the minimum wage to at least $17 per hour with the Raise the Wage Act of 2023.