Mark Pocan

From the office of:

Mark Pocan

Sending Office: Honorable Mark Pocan
Sent By:

Deadline Extended – COB Wednesday, 2/26

Signers: Craig, DeSaulnier, Huffman, Kaptur, Levin (MI), Lowenthal, McCollum, Moore, Norton, Sánchez, Schakowsky, Torres, Wild

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to support Air Wisconsin flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), as they request relief from the National Mediation Board (NMB) in the their dispute with their employer, a United Airlines regional carrier.

Flight attendants at Air Wisconsin make as little as $15,000 a year and have
been fighting for a new contract for over 2 years
. Because there has been no progress at the bargaining table, AFA members at Air Wisconsin voted to authorize a strike with 99 percent of the membership voting in favor. However, because these workers are
covered under the Railway Labor Act, they are not allowed to exercise their right to strike unless released to “self-help” by the NMB. Without recourse, flight attendants at Air Wisconsin will continue to be paid poverty wages. Please join me in a letter to
the NMB urging them to give fair consideration to AFA’s request for release to self-help.

The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, February 26. To be added, please have your staff contact Andrew O’Neill (Andrew.O’ of my staff. Thank you for your consideration of this



Mark Pocan

Member of Congress


February 26, 2020


The Honorable Linda Puchala                                           The Honorable Kyle Fortson                

Chairwoman                                                                      Board Member

National Mediation Board                                                  National Mediation Board

1301 K Street NW, Suite 250                                             1301 K Street NW, Suite 250

Washington, DC 20005                                                      Washington, DC 20005


The Honorable Gerald W. Fauth, III

Board Member

National Mediation Board

1301 K Street NW, Suite 250

Washington, DC 20005


Dear Chairwoman Puchala and Board Members Fauth and Forston:

Air Wisconsin flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have been in contract negotiations with Air Wisconsin Airlines for almost four years, and have spent more than two years in mediation. 

Despite being responsible for critical safety procedures, Air Wisconsin flight attendants working full time make as little as $15,000 per year. Their wage rates have been frozen since 2007 and many struggle to meet their financial needs. Air Wisconsin Flight
Attendants work on flights for United Airlines but make less than half of what a flight attendant for United Airlines makes. 

Because bargaining and mediation have not proven successful, Air Wisconsin flight attendants voted to authorize a strike in November of 2018 with 99 percent of their membership voting in favor. The Railway Labor Act (RLA) mandates a period of mediation followed
by a proffer of arbitration and a 30-day cooling off period prior to rail and airline employees exercising their
right to strike. The parties have clearly not been able to resolve their dispute under the mechanisms afforded them under the RLA. Without the National Mediation Board (NMB) issuing a proffer of arbitration, we are concerned that the
Air Wisconsin flight attendants are left without recourse, effectively locking them in poverty wages.

AFA has sent multiple letters over the last year requesting the NMB to grant a proffer of arbitration. The NMB has responded to those requests by mandating further mediation, even though there has been no progress at the bargaining table. We urge the NMB
to review this matter carefully and give fair consideration to AFA’s request for a proffer of arbitration.



_________________________                                                  _________________________

Mark Pocan                                                                             

Member of Congress                                                                Member of Congress



CC: Sara Nelson, President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA

       Christine Deister, Chief Executive Officer, Air Wisconsin Airlines      

       Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Labor, Transportation

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.