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Mesa Airlines Flight Attendants Reach Collective Bargaining Agreement

In March of this year, Mesa Airline's approximately 1,000 flight attendants authorized a strike, citing low wages. Now, an agreement has been reached and a new contract has been signed. The new contract is approved by 97 percent of union members and will cover the next four years.

Sara Nelson is International President for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

"It was critically important to do this at Mesa because they really were the bottom feeders in the industry. They had the worst pay and benefits if you were to look at how they were paid and their flight hours compared to how much time they were spending on the job, they were very close to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 an hour and that's just really inappropriate for someone who is doing the work of a first responder in the air, and we had to get that changed," Nelson said.

Contract negotiations began five years ago, in 2012, to raise wages. The AFA-CWA reported average wages for a Mesa Airlines flight attendant ranging between $13,000 and $36,000 a year before the contract negotiation.

Nelson said the new agreement improves wages by $10,000 to $20,000 over the four-year contract period. Mesa Airlines flight attendants fly out of Phoenix, Washington-Dulles, Dallas and Houston and fly for American and United, covering approximately 600 flights nationwide each day.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to clarify that the flight attendants authorized a strike.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.