Local concerns over possible Hawaiian Air flight attendant strike
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Hawaiian Airlines has set extra flights for the usual busy Christmas holiday travel between Honolulu and Pago Pago, as the Honolulu-based carrier is “working hard” to finalize a deal on the remaining issues to avoid a flight attendant strike.
Honolulu station, KITV-Channel 4 reported early this week that strike vote ballots will be sent to over 2,100 flight attendants later this month and a vote count is scheduled for Nov. 20th.
FLIGHT ATTENDANCE STRIKE
Media reports out of Honolulu of a possible flight attendant strike have sparked concerns here, as well as amongst Samoans in Hawai’i, due to Hawaiian being the only airline providing service between the territory and the U.S.
“Our flight attendants deliver the best hospitality in the industry, and we remain focused on working with union negotiators through federal mediation to finalize a new contract that recognizes our employees’ contributions to our success, reflects our industry standing, and allows Hawaiian to remain competitive and continue to grow,” said DaSilva, when asked about the status of negotiations between the airline and its flight attendants union.
Samoa News wanted to know, if flight attendants vote to strike, how is it going to impact flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago? And what are Hawaiian’s plans to ensure continued air service to and from the territory if a strike does occur.
DaSilva replied, “Both parties remain actively engaged in negotiations. Self-help actions are illegal as long as good faith negotiations are ongoing, which means our flight operations and guests’ travel plans are unaffected by this latest union announcement.”
He added, “We have reached tentative agreements on many issues since negotiations began and we are working hard to finalize a deal on remaining issues through ongoing mediation.”
KITV-Ch: 4 reports that Hawaiian flight attendants have engaged in almost three years of stalled contract negotiations, and say they are underpaid compared to their counterparts in the industry.
Flight attendants plan to picket on October 9th at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. This follows four consecutive months of flight attendant protests at international airports in Honolulu and Los Angeles.
Samoa News has received in the past few days, local and off-island inquiries on when Hawaiian will set up extra flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago for the busy Christmas/New Year holiday travel season.
Responding to Samoa News inquiries, airline spokesman, Alex DaSilva said from Honolulu that Hawaiian has added two flights — both on Tuesdays — Dec. 17th and 31st. He said these flights, “which are available for purchase, add to our normal Monday and Thursday flights.” The extra flights will arrive and depart Pago Pago at night, same as the current Hawaiian flight times.