Alaska Suspends 17 More Attendants After Flights Disrupted

Seventeen Alaska Airlines flight attendants have been "withdrawn from service" pending review of their actions in disrupting five flights Saturday by walking off the job.

The dispute marked the latest escalation of the flight attendants' strategy to "Create Havoc Around Our System" (CHAOS), to spur negotiations for a new labor contract.

Mary Jo Manzanares, vice president of the Seattle Council of the Association of Flight Attendants, said tha there have been no subsequent incidents on flights but that the CHAOS campaign will continue.

Seventeen of the 20 flight attendants on the five flights walked off Saturday. The action resulted in the cancellation of an Oakland-to-Seattle flight.

But Alaska spokesman Greg Witter said the flight was canceled simply because it was easier to accommodate its 36 passengers on another flight rather than try to round up reserve attendants.

Reserves were obtained for the other four flights - San Francisco to Seattle, Seattle to San Francisco, San Jose to Los Angeles and San Jose to Portland. Those flights were delayed from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

This was the fourth time the airline has suspended or fired employees for participating in the CHAOS campaign. Besides sudden walkouts or work stoppages, the CHAOS strategy calls for flight attendants to disrupt flights by performing only safety duties on targeted flights.