Dozens of American Airlines flight attendants picketed outside Miami International Airport Wednesday to draw attention to contract negotiations.
The move was part of a national effort to stage a symbolic strike. The simulated strike was considered "non-disruptive," which means that no airline service was impacted by the demonstrations.
"All we're asking for now is our fair share," said Marsha Reed, a flight attendant who has been with American for 21 years.
The union representing the group, The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, or APFA, is trying to restore at least 30 percent of cuts to wages and benefits that workers lost following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I don't know if it gets the airline's attention, but it brings us all closer and it gets us together so that we know that we are solid, and if anything would happen in the future, we would be together," said flight attendant Ann Crow.
"A lot of the executives are taking bonuses and saying, 'Times are tough.' Well, why are they getting money but yet labor and middle America are still working under the cuts," said flight attendant Shane Staples.
The flight attendants told Local 10's Terrell Forney that they were promised years ago that the cuts would be temporary.
"We have worked hard for the airline and made many sacrifices," said APFA President Laura Glading. "It is time that they recognize that and reward flight attendants for their excellent service."
No service disruptions would happen over the holiday season, the union said. However, if negotiations stall after the first of the year, a real walkout could be planned.
"We don't want to see our passengers disrupted. That's the last thing we want to see. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do that in order to get the attention," Staples said.
The union represents more than 18,000 flight attendants.
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