In August, a Compass Airlines flight attendant named Kirsten Arianejad gave an interview to a local TV news program in which she revealed that despite working full-time, she also relies on food stamps. Instead of raising her poverty-level wages, her employer fired her.
Having a job is no longer a guarantee against poverty. But having a job that requires skills, training, interpersonal skills and no small degree of risk, like being a flight attendant, should be. A flight attendant using food stamps is Compass's fault, not hers.
Flight attendants at Compass earn starting salaries between $13,842 and $15,453 a year, or between $1,153.50 and $1,287.75 a month. That's barely enough to care for one person, much less a family. In Arizona, where Arianejad lives, the maximum an individual can earn and still qualify for food stamp assistance is $1,671.
Join the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the profession's largest union, in standing up for Arianejad and her poorly-paid colleagues. Tell Compass Airlines CEO Tim Campbell to reinstate Arianejad immediately and take steps to raise flight attendant wages.
Photo credit: Rick Kimpel