The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the largest independent flight attendant union in the United States, with 17,000 members working for American Airlines. The union has been locked in contract negotiations for several years, stemming from an agreement it made in 2003 that returned significant fractions of salary and benefits to American Airlines in order to allow the company to avoid bankruptcy. O’Neill and Associates was retained to provide federal government relations and communications services to help the union reach a successful conclusion to contract negotiations and membership ratification of a new contract.
O’Neill and Associates developed a comprehensive communications and federal relations campaign to re-engage APFA membership and advance initiatives to heighten pressure on the company to reach a satisfactory conclusion to negotiations. The campaign has included message development, a reformulation of internal communications, direct media relations and high level engagement with Congress and the Obama Administration.
One feature has been a 15-city “leadership update” tour that has brought APFA leadership to each flight attendant base around the country to engage with membership and discuss the status of contract negotiations. O’Neill and Associates has helped to facilitate the tour, craft key messages, execute related media relations, develop presentation skills for union leadership and staff individual events.
To date, O’Neill and Associates has secured positive media coverage in national news outlets; enhanced the union’s internal communications protocols; and helped union leadership energize its membership, boost fundraising and PAC contributions and greatly strengthen its position at the negotiating table. O’Neill and Associates continues to work with APFA to further the union’s goals.
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