Alaska, Hawaiian Flight Attendants Pump the Brakes on Proposed Merger

Alaska, Hawaiian Flight Attendants Pump the Brakes on Proposed Merger

The flight attendants union representing Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have met “to establish the stance of the Flight Attendant Union regarding this potential amalgamation.” In other words, hold your horses, please.

Union representatives from Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines have met with their legal, collective bargaining, government affairs, communications, and financial analysis specialists. Their goal was to comprehensively examine the merger proposal, union policies safeguarding Flight Attendants, and a legal evaluation of the proposed merger process itself. A dialogue ensued to help establish the Union’s potential support or opposition to Alaska’s proposed acquisition of Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants

The flight attendants say that they are unified for their purpose.

Together, they passed a resolution articulating clear demands to the airlines’ management and delineating prerequisites for the Union’s support of the upcoming merger.

These include several provisions crucial to flight attendants, such as assurances of no furloughs, the maintenance of base assignments for all flight members, a safeguarding agreement preserving pre-existing flight operations, expedited joint contract negotiations yielding benefits for all flight attendants, and active AFA union involvement in safety and service modifications.

The Alaska and Hawaiian Flight Attendants’ Union has set forth a timeline.

They scheduled a well-timed follow-up meeting on March 25 to assess progress and a subsequent meeting on April 26 to evaluate management’s action or inaction. Together, these will help inform the union towards determining their stance on the proposed merger.

It’s interesting to note that in the JetBlue/Spirit merger, the flight attendants’ approval was given without consternation. The JetBlue union said it clearly supported the carrier’s proposed acquisition of budget carrier Spirit Airlines.

The Alaska/Hawaiian Union emphasized the need for patience and assured members that updates and engagement opportunities would be forthcoming in the upcoming merger progress.

What the two companies’ flight attendants hope to achieve.

At the core of their goals is an “industry-leading” contract for crew members at Alaska Airlines, whose negotiations continue to be stuck at the very same moment that the airline is trying to buy Hawaiian Airlines. Alaska flight attendants have undertaken a strike vote. The airline has offered a 15% pay hike, which the union finds unacceptable.

At this juncture, the union wants a pledge from both Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines to address relevant merger concerns, including no furlough and no displacement protection. Additionally, the union representing both companies’ employees wants to find ways to preserve the most important elements of both current contracts when the two come together under the Alaska Airlines umbrella.

The union’s postponement in endorsing the merger is seen as a way to press Alaska toward a contract agreement of their liking. In the interim, strike vote ballots went to 6,800 Alaska flight attendants, with the vote coming to a close on February 13, 2024, well ahead of the next union meeting.

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12 thoughts on “Alaska, Hawaiian Flight Attendants Pump the Brakes on Proposed Merger”

  1. Just give the employees what they wan’t and move on. They risk there lives on someone else’s negligence every time they fly why not give them what they want.

  2. I’m sure the Hawaiian flight attendance would rather lose their jobs altogether when Hawaiian goes bankrupt without the merger. Screw this up and then go look for jobs elsewhere when you kill your golden goose.

  3. Why would flight attendants have any say in the merger? So many people would love to be flight attendants. Without their unions, they’d probably let go for demanding such needs.

  4. Listen… Alaska wants to eliminate Hawaiian. As in the past they may tacitly promise things then when they can, dump all those promises. Alaska wants Hawaiian to cease to exist along with contracts, aircraft leases, employee bases, international routes, everything. It’s all going to end.

    1. Let’s keep it 100: the Association of Flight Attendants, the union that represents both Alaska and Hawaiian flight attendants, is powerless to stop this merger. Hawaiian shareholders voted 98% in favor of the merger last week. DOJ Anti-Trust Division is not going to have cause to stop this from happening as it did with the failed Jet Blue and Spirit.

      Hawaiian is in a terrible financial situation and the future looks even more bleak without this acquisition. Sorry…it’s the hard truth. Get on board with Alaska or go the way of Aloha Airlines.

  5. Well its real Simple and I know what I’m talking about I’ve been a flight attendant 35 years have been through mergers have seen many of my friends go through mergers.. and the bottom line here is Hawaiian Airlines employees.. really have nothing to stand on when demanding anything because Hawaiian Airlines is basically a dead man walking it’s never really been a big money maker it’s broke now and it’s eventually just going to go away and be bankrupt Alaska Airlines has money they’re not going to go bankrupt so they don’t have to have Hawaiian Airlines to survive.. but Hawaiian Airlines has to have someone that survive because they simply can’t survive on their own it’s not possible when you look at their financial position…

    1. I started out with an airline in the corporate office…. it went bankrupt. Then worked at another airline, they went out of business. Then became a flight attendant for a charter airline… they were shut down by FAA. Then became an FA with a major carrier. This became another merger. The merger went very well for employees of both carriers with increase in pay, better work rules, and less hostility between management and FA’s. If Hawaiian isn’t profitable it will not go well for the employees.

  6. Like I said previously when the subject first came up: while government has the “hammer” from a legal And regulatory standpoint, the airline “labor unions” will be a Huge player in whether or not ASA and HAL have a “smooth flight” into a merger of the two airlines.

    Some well-meaning folks herein thought it would bring “better” times to Hawai’ian air service. But I’ve been through 4 mergers in my airline career and they’re Always “messy”.

    Please remember this hard “truth”: the labor unions do not care what you – the traveling public – think about a merger; they Only care about their jobs, working conditions, and their bottom line … read: $$$$$$$


  7. Seems like a good move, they’re not trying to stop the merger, just making sure that the pledge to keep the Hawaiian’s brand intact is kept. Obviously closing a HNL domicile and or furloughing FA’s would be counter to everything Alaska is promising in this merger and would destroy much of what Alaska is buying. Alaska and Hawaiian FA’s both deserve a great contract and clearly that is what should result in this merger. Can’t blame them for wanting to get it in writing. Another example of how this merger is unique, in a good way. Fascinating actually.

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