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American Airlines, flight attendants union seek mediation in contract negotiations



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines flight attendant looks out the window prior to take off from La Guardia airport as she sits in a jump seat in New York, U.S. April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines (NASDAQ:) and its flight attendants union on Friday jointly applied for federal mediation in contract negotiations.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents over 23,000 American flight attendants, said the decision to seek mediation is intended to move contract negotiations forward.

The current round of negotiations started in January 2020 but was paused at the height of the pandemic. Talks resumed in June 2021.

While the two sides have met regularly over the past few months, APFA said they still have “substantive” disagreements over many “important” issues, without elaborating.

American Airlines said it welcomed the assistance from the National Mediation Board (NMB) to “maintain the positive momentum” in the negotiations.

The NMB is a government agency that is entrusted with maintaining an uninterrupted flow of commerce in the airline and railway industries through representation, mediation and arbitration services.

It is expected to assign a mediator who will set the timing and location of the negotiations. The mediator, however, cannot compel either party to agree to contract terms.

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