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Chris Kress is on a Mission to Bring Workers Together

Chris Kress believes in getting to know other people and “walking around in their shoes” before making judgments about them. That’s what she’s been doing since January. A veteran agent at American Airlines, Chris is currently on assignment as a CWA organizer with Envoy. She would describe herself as a good listener who wants to help bridge the gap in wages and respect between AA and Envoy agents. “What we do is the same, but the company wants to divide us. We can’t let that happen, so I want to make sure we walk in each other’s shoes a little,” says Chris. She says she’s seen the company pitting workers against each other for 20 years in order to increase profits. “If management builds up resentment and animosity in the workforce, it can weaken us, and silence us,” she explains. “We need a voice, and to succeed we all have to go beyond our small differences and be a cohesive group. Building unity is the key to improving Envoy workers’ situation and getting the respect we all deserve.” Chris’s work right now is focused on listening to Envoy workers’ concerns and encouraging them to participate in CWA in any way they can—becoming stewards, attending meetings, and talking with each other and their union representatives. “Without the union things just will not get better. When we understand that we have rights as workers and how to get the company to respect those rights, it helps. And it helps to ally with other workers—whether they’re doing different jobs, like flight attendants, or the same job, like agents in other parts of AA. We all share the same goals. That’s why we keep saying, “Bridge the Gap!” If we connect with other workers, we will win.”