SAN DIEGO -- The Association of Flight Attendants threatened to strike Transamerica Airlines at midnight Wednesday, barring an eleventh-hour agreement with management on a new wage and benefits packet.
Midnight markes the expiration of a the 30-day cooling off period ordered under the Railway Labor Act.
Negotiations went on Wednesday afternoon at a Mission Valley hotel in San Diego, with a union package proposal on the table and no contract in sight after 18 months of talks.
The union represents 540 flight attendants of the Oakland-based airline.
San Francisco-based strike coordinator Sean Fitzpatrick said the company had refused to bargain in good faith.
'The company, a subsidiary of Transamerica Corporation, is profitable with earnings of $21 million last year, or about a 19 percent return on equity. Yet our wages and benefits average 30 to 55 percent below the industry average. Our 10-year flight attendants make $1,008 a month. Such a person at United Air Lines makes about $30,000 a year,' Fitzpatrick said.
'Ironically, though, it's conditions not wages that are the main issue. We are the only U. S. airline that requires flight attendants to share hotel rooms on trips.'
If the strike materialized, Fitzpatrick said, it would be Transamerica Airlines' third in 10 years.