Alaska Airlines workers picket at Lindbergh Field - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Alaska Airlines workers picket at Lindbergh Field

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - About two dozen Alaska Airlines flight attendants demonstrated at Lindbergh Field in San Diego Wednesday as negotiations with management on a new contract resumed.

According to the Association of Flight Attendants, contract negotiations began over two years ago, but the airlines' almost 3,300 flight attendants rejected a tentative agreement on a new contract in February.

New talks were set to begin today under federal mediation.

"Through tireless effort, Alaska Airlines flight attendants have helped implement a successful strategy that has resulted in record-breaking profits and top awards," said Jeffrey Peterson, the AFA president at Alaska Airlines. "Our hard work, sacrifice and dedication has helped our airline gain solid financial footing."

He said the flight attendants have proven their dedication and "we are due a contract that reflects our role."

Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the deal rejected by the flight attendants included "generous pay increases," along with improvements in both working conditions and lifestyle.

"Alaska Airlines has reached good, long-term contracts with every other represented employee group and we are dedicated to coming back to the table to work on an agreement that is fair, comprehensive and beneficial for our flight attendants and the company alike," Egan said. "Our philosophy remains to pay our employees in the upper tier of the industry and to reward employees through what we believe is the industry's best gain-sharing program."

She said the flight attendants are working under terms of an agreement reached five years ago.

The flight attendants wore red T-shirts as they marched, chanted and carried signs near the arrival area for the airline's passengers at Lindbergh Field. Since the picketing was informational only, no flights were delayed.

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