PHOENIX — Roughly 100 American Airlines employees braved the heat Tuesday and demonstrated outside Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, demanding higher wages, improved job security, and for leadership at American to finalize their contract negotiations.
Leadership with Teamsters Local 104, which represents about 1,200 gate agents, customer service specialists, and ticketing agents at both Sky Harbor and Tucson International Airport, told us many of their employees haven’t had raises in three years.
Employees also told us they’re worried about artificial intelligence and automation eliminating their jobs altogether.
“We are trying to let the company see that we have the solidarity and are suffering,” explains Kimberly Barboro, a 35-year American employee who is also the union representative for Teamsters Local 104, part of the CWA-IBT. “We are ready for a contract. We continue to do our jobs and work really hard to make this company profitable, get people to where they need to be as soon as we can, on time, do the best job we can, and we need the company to see that.”
ABC15 reached out to American Airlines for a response. The company sent us this statement:
“We continue to have collaborative and productive discussions with the CWA-IBT and look forward to reaching an agreement that ensures our team members are paid well and competitively with quality-of-life provisions that are important to our team.”
The company also mentioned that Tuesday’s demonstrations did not impact day-to-day operations at the airport.
Teamsters Local 104 leadership tells us they will be meeting with American Airlines officials again next month and are hoping to come to some kind of an agreement.