Alaska Air Offers to Resume Talks
SEATTLE (AP) _ Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants are headed back to the bargaining table in their three-year contract dispute.
The airline offered to resume negotiations Wednesday, a day after 24 labor activists were arrested for blocking an entrance outside company headquarters and a U.S. senator urged the airline to return to the bargaining table.
David Melancon, spokesman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said the two sides would resume contract talks Monday.
″We’re going back to the table, bargaining in good faith,″ Melancon said Wednesday. ″We just hope the company will do the same.″
Alaska spokesman Lou Cancelmi would not say whether the company had new proposals to offer.
″We have a goal here,″ Cancelmi said. ″That goal is to reach an agreement. Anything I say could be counterproductive.″
The airline imposed new wage scales, benefits and work rules on flight attendants June 24. Management and flight attendants had tried for about three years to reach agreement on a new contract. Talks broke down June 19 after a 30-day cooling off period expired.
No flight attendants were arrested during the protest Tuesday, a rally organizer said. But 24 labor activists were cited for disorderly conduct and released, said Michael Laslett, a Teamster’s Union member who was arrested.
U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., wrote to Alaska Airlines chairman Ray Vecci on Tuesday, urging him to resume contract talks with the flight attendants.