American flight attendants plan "dress rehearsal" strike

Flight attendants at American Airlines plan to stage a "simulated strike" at airports around the country on Nov. 18 to show how travel could be disrupted by a real work stoppage. "This is only a symbolic demonstration to show management that flight attendants are willing and able to do whatever is necessary to get a fair contract," said Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The union plans to ask the National Mediation Board to clear the way for a strike by declaring a 30-day cooling-off period if mediation fails to produce a contract by January. The airline points out that mediation lasts an average of 19 months, "and we've been in mediated negotiations for roughly nine months," with about 72% of contract points already settled.

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