(Las Vegas. NV) A handful of requests from Allegiant Air flight attendants are at the core of a fight among the attendants and management.
Wednesday, a number of flight attendants from Allegiant picketed outside Allegiant’s headquarters on S. Durango in southwest Las Vegas. In a show of solidarity, members of Southwest Air also joined during the two-hour gathering.
Debra Petersen-Barber, spokeswoman for local 577 told KXNT how they kicked off the picket.
“We delivered a cake to the corporate office and it had all the corners cut off and it said ‘cutting corners is good for cake, but not employees’, two years is too long,” says Barber. Prior to the picketing, the company delivered a case of water to the picketers, but the water was returned unopened.
The rally took place a few days after a flight was delayed prior to leaving Las Vegas. Reportedly, passengers on the Phoenix-bound flight were stuck on the plane in triple-digit heat without air conditioning and water.
Flight attendants continue to fight for their first contract in two years, but management has yet to budge on most of the important issues, especially pay for unplanned hours worked.
Barber told KXNT about “duty regs”, which allow flight attendants to receive compensation for time on a shift where they are not actually working on the plane, such as during major delays due to mechanical problems.
“If we show up for what we believe will be a six-hour day and it turns out to be a 16-hour day, we don’t receive any additional pay for that,” says Barber.
Petersen-Barber said the company is more interested in making the company call in fresh crews for unusually long shifts rather than money.
“They consistently run their staffing so low there isn’t anybody to replace us. And because it costs them nothing to force us to continue we have no other choice but to stay and work, sometimes 20 hours,” says Barber
The next round of negotiations through a mediator will be at the end of June
A video of the stranded passengers at McCarran International Airport making the best of a tough situation can be seen here