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United Airlines flight attendants to picket at Hopkins Airport, call for improved work conditions

CLEVELAND — Flight attendants with United Airlines are planning to hit the picket lines Thursday morning.

They’re taking action and calling for immediate changes in the workplace after years of rough conditions.

It’s all part of a nationwide day of action ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

Union officials say working through the pandemic and countless system meltdowns have created a recipe for disaster.

They are now 18 months into negotiating a new contract with really no change or movement.

They say when the customers experience issues, they do too.

The Association of Flight Attendants will picket right out front of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport once again.

They did the same thing in September of last year.

They’re fed up with operational disruptions that happened this summer, which left passengers stranded for six days, poor scheduling, not enough staff, and a lack of rest provisions.

Pay is also a central talking point.

Union officials say nothing has changed since last year.

In fact, they share the same frustrations over cancellations and delays as passengers.

United union officials say this is not a strike but rather an informational picket highlighting what’s happening behind the scenes.

“The number one thing that’s frustrating our work for us right now is that when we have operational disruptions, let’s say for weather or for air traffic control delays, United completely melts down and they have no ability to get up and running,” Melinda Beal, Flight Attendant with United Airlines and local council president for Association of Flight Attendants AFA-CWA Local 63 said.

News 5 reached out to United Airlines for comment.

They sent the following statement:

“We’re continuing to work with the Association of Flight Attendants toward an industry-leading agreement. All United flights will operate as planned while our flight attendants exercise their right to distribute information and picket while off-duty.”

The demonstration at Hopkins starts at 10 a.m.


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