Hello, This is APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake with a HotLine update for Friday, October 1st.
The big news this week is the recall of 610 of our furloughed flight attendants. To our members who have received recall notices, we look forward to welcoming you back to the line on November 17th. The most junior flight attendant receiving a notice of return to AA has a seniority date of March 22, 2001, with a seniority number of 20,121. Following the clearance of the current base transfer lists, our recalled Flight Attendants should be assigned to the bases of LGA, BOS, STL and DCA.
In accordance with the terms of our contract, the 610 recalled Flight Attendants will have 10 days following the post-mark on recall letters to return an acceptance or rejection of this recall. The Company must offer re-employment within 21 days following this post-mark date. Thus, by mid October we should know the exact number of Flight Attendants accepting the recall and the exact dates of scheduled recurrent training.
As a reminder, recall notices have been mailed to the address of record for each recalled Flight Attendant. If you are a furloughee make certain your current address is accurate.
We must note that while we have FAs returning from furlough status – we also have over 200 AA pilots going into furlough status beginning this month. At this point I must explain that the primary need for our recalls are due to the current FA attrition. APFA’s first real waves of retiring FAs exiting into pension status via Article 36 of our contact has begun naturally in this decade. These retirement numbers will probably continue in the months ahead because those FAs hired in the late 60’s and early 70’s are reaching normal retirement age in accordance with Article 36 of our Contract.
This week I met with the Presidents of AA, APA, TWU and other members of senior management in a Joint Leaders Team meeting. The Joint Leaders group has been meeting since Gerard Arpey became the CEO of AMR. This group meets on a quarterly basis prior to the financial announcements of the AA quarterly results. This forum gives the labor leaders on our property the opportunity to offer input on critical issues affecting our company and our work lives today. Some of the topics discussed during this most recent meeting were Fuel costs escalation, the 3rd quarter results to be announced later this month, and AA’s application for the ORD-Shanghai route. Please visit the APFA website to learn more about this important issue to our company. I believe the FA seat at this table is most important.
APFA will be sending a contingent of APFA flight attendants to the hill on October 5 to meet with lawmakers and focus on issues such as the China route, fatigue and security training for flight attendants.
The company is holding their annual leadership conference in Dallas during the first week of October and I along with my team will be attending to observe at senior management communicates with field managers. We want to observe this process and again want the FA official representatives present for this presentation. We want to share the FA perspective regarding our company regarding the future business plan.
Last night the first presidential debate was held between the two candidates for the November election. As a reminder the APFA leadership has endorsed the Kerry/Edwards ticket in this most important race. The presidential election is but a month away and whether you were a Ward administration supporter or a Hutto-Blake administration supporter – please remember we both have endorsed the Democratic ticket. This endorsement is strictly due to the candidates’ positions regarding labor. Your leadership would never tell you how to vote – simply put we tell you how we intend to vote. The APFA Skyword, which will shortly be mailed to all members carries the theme of the importance of each of our votes to this country and to in particular the labor community that you and I currently represent.
Thank you and please stay on the line for more industry news, Leslie.
This is Leslie Mayo with the remainder of the APFA HotLine for Friday, October 1,
APFA and the Company have reached an agreement on those flight attendants affected by Hurricane Jeanne during the period of 12:00 noon on September 25th until 8:00 a.m. on September 27th. All flight attendants who incurred a Misconnect, Illegality, Cancellation will have their guarantees restored. You may also elect to use PVD’s to protect the full value of the sequence lost. All Reserve Flight Attendants who received a TM or PO due to the Hurricane will have these removed from their records and their guarantees restored. Further, any regularly scheduled flight attendant who incurred a TM or PO will have these occurrences changed to an XX, which does not reflect as an attendance occurrence on their record. Guarantees will be restored or the flight attendant may elect to use PVD’s. Any flight attendant who incurred a TM or a PO outside of the timeframe of this letter of agreement due to Hurricane Jeanne will have their occurrences changed to an XX. The may opt for make up or choose to use PVD’s in order to protect their guarantee or sequence. And finally, any late sign-ins as a result of Hurricane Jeanne will be removed from all records.
The rumors seem to have died down quite a bit this past week. One question I received was whether AA intends to merge with American Eagle. As most of you know AMR owns American Airlines and American Eagle. However, the two airlines will not be merging any time soon. I also received a message from a concerned flight attendant that APFA buys its Representatives cell phones but the Reps won’t give out their numbers. This is false. All Representatives purchase their own cell phones. If they need to conduct business on behalf of APFA, APFA covers only the cost incurred for APFA use. I would like to thank all of you for calling and emailing me with your questions and concerns and checking your facts in order to keep the galley gossip from spinning out of control. Please continue to read the Web site and listen to the Hotline for confirmations of the accuracy of the rumors you submit.
As APFA told you last week, we are beginning a campaign to acquire the Chicago – Shanghai route. China is the fastest growing aviation market in the world with continued growth expected in the future. Currently, only two U. S. carriers have been allowed to serve China - United and Northwest. In order to reap the benefits of this lucrative market, American is promoting its application and is competing with Delta and Continental for the single new entrant carrier that will be awarded service beginning in 2005. American has announced that it intends to file for seven new combination frequencies that are also available in 2005. American intends to fly between Chicago O'Hare and Shanghai, China using the 236-seat Boeing 777 aircraft.
APFA supports AA’s efforts in this area as each new route means more flight attendant jobs. As the China market grows, so will the number of flight attendants needed to fly the flights. BUT, this will only happen if American is chosen as a new entrant carrier.
Please use CAPWIZ on the APFA Web site to send letters to your senators, representatives and Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta asking them to support American's application. We need to demonstrate overwhelming support from all AA employees for this new service.
Following the success of San Diego as a satellite base, AA will be exploring the option of four more satellite bases at MSP, MCO, TPA and ATL. If you are a domestic commuter Flight Attendant living in one of the following cities and would consider volunteering your time in researching and participating in such a test please contact your local base management, your APFA Base Chair and/or the APFA contract desk and let them know you have an interest in this proposed project.
We realize there are other cities with large numbers of commuters. If new satellite bases are created through mutual agreement and they are as successful as SAN, other satellites may soon follow.
Annual Health Benefits open enrollment begins today, October 1st. APFA would like to remind those Flight Attendants who have other medical/dental coverage and do not plan to fly 420 hours annually to waive coverage under the Medical/Dental plan. Be sure to verify that you have actually selected the option: “Waive Coverage” for your 2005 enrollment on JetNet. This is the only time of year most employees will be able to opt out of health benefits.
As always at APFA your safety is of utmost importance. It has been reported by other airline crews that some less than honest hotel workers are using new means to gain entrance to rooms. These include sabotaging the bar locks on the hotel room doors by shaving down the metal ball so the lock will not engage properly and filing down the wood next to the locks on the connecting doors so that the deadbolt will not catch. We urge you to use the utmost caution each and every time that you stay in a hotel. If you should happen to see any of these safety violations or any others, let us as well as the hotel management know immediately so that the situation may be rectified.
In further hotel news the first of the international crews will layover at the new hotel in downtown Paris this week. Let us know what you think of your new hotel. We want to hear all of the great things as well as the growing pains you may encounter.
Just when we thought the striking was done... it continues. The employees at our long layover hotel in SFO have gone on strike again, this time without an end date in sight. Crews will continue to be relocated to the alternate hotel. Again, please check your HIHTL for the exact location of the temporary hotel.
In New York the hotel workers at the JFK short layover hotel are on strike and crews will continue to be relocated to another hotel. Again, please confirm your layover hotel with HIHTL.
We will update this hotline regularly as both of these are fluid situations.
In industry news, USAir will be meeting with its unions prior to the scheduled October 7th hearing with the bankruptcy judge to discuss and attempt to reach agreements on benefit and wage cuts. They are seeking to cut about 23% more from employees’ pay, however, the 2,300 managers and executives have not been asked for cuts yet. USAir’s upper management cites the fact that with less pay, their upper tier mgt. personnel may choose to leave. Delta, in its attempt to avoid bankruptcy, has cut non-union employees pay 10% across the board as well as some of their health benefits.
Please remember that we still have 4541 number of furloughed flight attendants and 20 of our members on military leave serving in the armed forces.Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.