CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has officially submitted a request to be released from the federal mediation.

“We are ready to strike to get the contract we deserve and have earned,” Julie Hedrick, National President of APFA, said.

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Under the Railway Labor Act, a 30-day cooling-off period follows release from mediation if approved. During this time, the Union would prepare to strike following the 30 days.

Officials say American Airlines would still be able to present a deal during that period.

“Every day negotiations drag on is money saved for American Airlines,” Hendrik noted, “and every day that goes by, the situation for flight attendants gets more dire. We have new-hire flight attendants moving to high-cost cities like Boston, New York, and Miami who cannot afford to pay their rent and buy food. American Airlines reports record profits while our full-time flight attendants qualify for public assistance. This has to stop now.”

Union leaders say American Airlines continues to drag out contract negotiations and failed to present a deal by last week’s November 13 deadline.