United Airlines flight attendants picketed at over a dozen airports worldwide after the CEO received a 90% pay increase

  • United Airlines flight attendants picketed outside LaGuardia, Austin, Guam, and London airports.

  • They've been negotiating for a new contract for over two years, their union said.

  • CEO Scott Kirby's pay almost doubled to $18.5 million last year.

United Airlines flight attendants were picketing outside 17 airports around the world on Thursday in a protest about pay, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said.

Announcing the action, the union said the carrier's CEO, Scott Kirby, saw his pay rise by around 90% in 2023.

According to a proxy statement filed by the company earlier this month, Kirby was paid $18.5 million last year, compared to $9.8 million the year before.

Much of the increase was due to him receiving $6.6 million in cash based on an incentive program, in addition to a salary of over $1 million, $10.7 million in stock awards, and $155,740 in "other compensation," the proxy statement said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average flight attendant made $70,000 in 2023.

"If the airline has money to award execs with massive compensation increases, we expect to receive the same," Ken Diaz, the AFA United president, said in a press release.

"United flight attendants are the lifeblood of this airline, and management needs to come to the table now with an offer that reflects our critical contribution," he added.

The AFA said contract negotiations have been going on for over two years.

Skift reported about a dozen flight attendants were picketing outside New York's LaGuardia Airport on Thursday.

There were also picket lines in Austin, Cleveland, Chicago, San Diego, Guam, and the UK.

"Since last month, we've been meeting with the Association of Flight Attendants and the federal mediator they requested as we continue to work toward an industry-leading agreement for our flight attendants," United told Business Insider in a statement.

"Our negotiations are continuing this week and we have additional dates scheduled later this month," they added.

Last July, United reached a deal with pilots for pay increases of up to 40% over the life of the contract.

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