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United flight attendants demand improved contract

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Tomorrow Guam will launch a global rally of flight attendants, who will be picketing at airports across the globe asking for a better contract with their employer - United Airlines. Cynthia Iverson has been a flight attendant for 26 years, and is the spokesperson for the Continental Micronesia Association of Flight Attendants.

"The United flight attendants here on Guam are better known as Air Mike, or Continental Micronesia," she told KUAM News, "And we are pretty famous for our service out here, which has been called The Warmth of Paradise." While she says there are 250 United flight attendants in Guam, there are over 25,000 worldwide that will participate in what she calls "a contract day of action". She continued, "We're highly trained and we're highly experienced, and we have a value and we're worthy of a good contract."

She said United flight attendants are asking for a contract merger that provides better wages and fair work rules, adding, "The flight attendants have been negotiating for three long years while the company has made record profits." According to Iverson, while United's share price has increased 162%, but its employees have yet to share in this success.

In fact, she says it was the employees that gave back to the company after 9/11. "When we had the incident at the towers, all the airlines suffered from a loss of flying and our company came to us and asked for concessions, and we gave back," she recalled. Iverson said she gave up paid vacation, something that fourteen years later has yet to be restored. "Restorations of what we lost as well as increases to bring us up to industry standards and beyond is what we're asking for," she said.

In fact, other leading airlines such as American Airlines and Delta have already reached such agreements.

CMIAFA secretary/treasurer Jose Torres has been a local flight attendant for 25 years, and said, "I, along with hundreds of my brothers and sisters, have invested years of our lives in this career, into this company, and we want this company to give us a good contract that values that commitment and that investment."

The Contract Day of Action will begin this Thursday at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport beginning at 5pm when dozens of local flight attendants will rally together for a better contract with their employer.

KUAM News reached out to United Airlines for a statement, but we have yet to receive a response.

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