US Airways Asks Non-Union Staff to Work for Free

Report: US Airways asks non-union staff to work for free (CNN-Reuters)

US Airways, the bankrupt No. 7 U.S. airline, is seeking volunteers from non-union staff to work for free at its troubled Philadelphia operations over the New Year’s weekend, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The airline canceled nearly 400 flights over Christmas weekend, leaving thousands of passengers stranded or without luggage after three times the normal rate of flight attendants and baggage handlers based at Philadelphia called in sick.

US Airways said Tuesday its flight operations were back to normal, although it was still clearing the backlog of misplaced bags. But the troubles threatened to further alienate customers as the carrier fights to avoid liquidation by cutting employee pay and other costs.

The newspaper said the airline has sent extra workers and executives to Philadelphia to help restore services, but is seeking employees to work for free between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3. “This is a volunteer program,” the airline said in an e-mail to staff published by the newspaper. “You will not be paid if this is on your days(s) off. It promises to be a rewarding opportunity to learn more about the operation of our airline and come face to face with our customers.”

The airline is also examining attendance records and warned it would consider disciplinary action if it found any staff took unmerited sick leave, the newspaper said.

Somehow, I don’t think this is gonna fly.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Digger says:


    Work for free, come face to face with angry customers and learn more about how they continuously operate to run their business into bankruptcy. Sounds like a great deal to me, where do I sign up!

  2. Brian J. says:

    In Philadelphia, no less, where they boo Santa.

  3. Jim says:

    Now with the above comments in mind: if you are working for free are you covered under the airline’s insurance when you come face to fist with the customers?