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FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS ALASKA AIRLINES TO REINSTATE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS; RULING SEEN AS TRIUMPH FOR ALASKA FLIGHT ATTENDANTS' 'CHAOS' CAMPAIGN

 SEATTLE, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Flight Attendants issued the following:
 A federal judge in Seattle has ruled that the intermittent work stoppages begun by Alaska Airlines flight attendants this past fall are legal under the Railway Labor Act. This ruling is a major victory for Alaska's 1,500 flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), AFL-CIO, whose "CHAOS" (Create Havoc Around Our System) campaign against the carrier has been ongoing since June 1993, when negotiations with the company first broke down.
 "This ruling in favor of Alaska flight attendants represents a significant triumph for all workers in the air and rail industries," said Dee Maki, AFA national president. "The decision vindicates our strategy of intermittent strikes, giving us an important new weapon in our battle for a fair contract."
 The union-backed CHAOS campaign has Alaska flight attendants pursuing a series of intermittent strike actions (20-90 minutes in duration) around the airline's system, with little or no warning. Flight attendants who participated in these strikes offered to return to work as soon as their strike action had ended and prior to the plane ever leaving the gate. But the company refused to permit them to do so, later threatening to discharge any flight attendant who engaged in a similar strike action as part of the CHAOS campaign.
 "Since negotiations with the company broke down in June, all our actions have been designed with one goal in mind: to bring the company back to the table and force them to negotiate with us," said Gail Bigelow, AFA president at Alaska Airlines. "Perhaps this will motivate the company to work out a fair settlement so that we can all get on with the business of running a first-rate airline."
 Federal District Judge Barbara Rothstein also enjoined the company from issuing such threats and ordered the reinstatement, with full back pay, of 17 strikers still held out of service since their strike action.
 The decision further stated that the company could only use permanent replacement workers if such workers are brought in during the period of time when the flight attendants are actually on strike. And, flight attendants who offer to return to work unconditionally, following such a work stoppage, must be allowed to do so if no replacements have been activated.
 The union today requested that company negotiators return to the bargaining table. CHAOS work actions may resume at any time.
 The Association of Flight Attendants represents 33,000 flight attendants at 21 carriers and is the largest flight attendant union in the world.
 -0- 1/3/94
 /CONTACT: Jane Goodman or Ed Gilmartin, 202-328-5400, or Mary Jo Manzanares, 206-878-3544, all of the Association of Flight Attendants/


CO: Association of Flight Attendants; Alaska Airlines ST: Alaska, Washington IN: AIR SU:

DT-DC -- DC019 -- 8658 01/03/94 17:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 3, 1994
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