More than 5,000 Alaska Airlines workers set to get pay rises after machinists’ union secures contract deal

In a happy turn of events, Alaska Airlines and the International Association of Machinists negotiated a two-year deal that includes raises for 5,300 gate agents, store and office staff, as well as ramp workers. who charge the freight. Amazingly, according to the Seattle Times, the deal only took a week of negotiations.

A significant investment

The new employment contract means that Alaska Airlines customer service employees and other support staff can earn from $18 per hour, starting at $34 per hour.

Photo: Alaska Airlines

According to Jenny Wetzel of Alaska, Vice President of Labor Relations.

“Over the past year, the company has had to make many exceptions to hiring because the salary scale originally negotiated in 2019 was no longer appropriate. Together, we have committed to solutions that improve the quality life of our employees and are good for long-term success We are all very proud of this new agreement.

Seattle weather also interviewed Richard Johnsen, general vice president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) responsible for airline workers, who said wages would start at over $18 an hour and the pay scale would reach $34 an hour. Johnsen was pleased with the week-long negotiations which, if ratified, will end with “the highest paid employees in any of these classifications for the entire airline industry.”


Johnsen also said,

IAM members have made Alaska Airlines a future-proof and successful airline, and now they have a cutting-edge contract to vote on that rewards their dedication, skill and sacrifice.

According to the airline, the main benefits that now need to be ratified are:

  • Increase base pay rates for all classifications between 8.9% and 17.4% on August 10, 2022.
  • Further increase all base pay rates for all classifications by 2.5% on August 10, 2023
  • The base rate of pay will also increase by at least 2.5% on August 10, 2024 and August 10, 2025, subject to industry review.
  • In 2024 and 2025, the agreement provides for an industry review, which will grant employees a minimum base wage rate of 2.5% or the percentage required to match the top of the scale as an airline n ° 4, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, Delta is only giving a 4% pay raise

Delta Air Lines is only increasing the salaries of all its employees by 4% while having the money to invest in new Airbus A220s.

Photo: Joe Kunzler | single flight

It’s worth noting that according to CNBC, Alaska Airlines’ biggest competitor also using Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as a hub – Delta Air Lines – is only giving all employees a 4% pay raise. . The airline is currently trying to block efforts to unionize its flight attendants. Delta faces an insufficient workforce to meet travel demand.

Alaska Airlines’ recent award given to frontline workers

According to Karen Walker, editor of Air Transport World, Alaska Airlines received the Airline of the Year award because,

“The Alaska Airlines team is always at the top of their game with friendly customer service and a genuine dedication to their colleagues, the community and the planet. Being on top and continuing to invest in their future during these difficult times shows the remarkable strength and adaptability of Alaska Airlines, and we sincerely congratulate them.”

In a June 14 interview with Walker, Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci said of receiving the Air Transport World Airline of the Year award:

“When I look at Alaska over the past two decades, and look at everything that we’ve tried to build, it’s, it’s just this journey of balancing all the needs of the people who depend on us. So it’s balancing the needs of our employees who are just, you know, just that they deserve all the credit for this award, everything they’ve done, and they’re working to embody the values ​​of this company. … It’s that they’re the ones who really brought that reward home.”

One of the things CEO Minicucci wants as a hallmark of his tenure is not just customer service, but also concern for employees. For example, shortly after the Alaska Airlines pilots union information picket, CEO Minicucci was on the phone with the pilots union president with, in the union president’s words, “a strong desire to put negotiations on the right track and to focus on the future and to be able to close a deal.”

Do you think Alaska Airlines is doing well with its employees or can do better? Please let us know in the comments.

Sources: Aviation week, CNBC, Seattle Times,