This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with APFA HotLine news for the week ending March 30, 2001.
APFA received word from The National Mediation Board that negotiations tentatively scheduled for the first week of April in Washington, D.C. have been postponed. In a fax to APFA President John Ward and AA Senior Vice-President of Human Resources Sue Oliver, the NMB wrote "Due to the exigencies which the Board is dealing with at present and the significant potential of service disruption, should disputes currently in the final stage of the statutory process fail to find resolution, it will be necessary to reschedule meetings planned for early April."
Simply put, the NMB has got its hands full with Comair's pilots on strike and Delta and its pilots, who have just begun a thirty day cooling off period. It is reasonable to conclude that the NMB wants to see how that dispute plays out prior to calling APFA and American to Washington. As a result, we cannot, with any certainty, predict when the next meetings will take place, but we will let you know as soon as new dates have been finalized.
APFA's goal continues to be to reach an acceptable negotiated settlement and to do so as quickly as possible. It is apparent that the Company's goal, on the other hand, is to continue to resist making the improvements you told us were necessary to any new contract and we expect this resistance to continue until such time they feel the pressure to do otherwise.
Should further mediation prove unsuccessful, we expect the National Mediation Board to give serious consideration to our request for release into a 30-day countdown. Maybe the Company will then, finally, do what is right and what we have been waiting for more than two and a half years for them to do: provide us with an Industry Leading Contract with no fine print.
On Wednesday, March 28, APFA President John Ward, along with the Presidents of both the APA and TWU, sent a joint letter to American CEO Don Carty formally opposing the TWA Acquisition. The letter states, (quote) "The employee groups we represent remain committed to building the world's leading airline. That end, however, can only be achieved if all facets of the organization participate in the creation of that airline and truly share in the benefits of that achievement. Thus far, that has not been the case. For this reason, and with a keen sense of disappointment, we cannot support this transaction." (end quote) The full text of this letter can be viewed on the APFA web site at www.apfa.org.
Although the TWA deal may soon be approved in spite of our opposition, Don Carty needs to know that we are frustrated and disappointed that he continues top put the interests of his shareholders and customers way ahead of those of his employees. That may make him a popular guy in some circles, but certainly not among his 70,000 dedicated and professional unionized employees at American. Prior to spending over $4 billion on the TWA Acquisition, American Airlines needed to take care of business here at home. They need to invest in their own employees first, and for the flight attendants specifically, that means reaching agreement with APFA on a new contract which recognizes the contributions we make to the success of this Company. It is, unfortunately, a sad commentary on the state of labor-management relations at American Airlines that 2 1/2 years of bargaining has failed to produce a new contract, yet in the period of one month, the Company negotiated the deal to purchase the assets of TWA. It shows where their priorities are.
Members of the APFA Merger and Acquisition Committee met Thursday for a full day of internal meetings here in Dallas/Fort Worth and will meet again on Thursday, March 5.
APFA will be Informational Picketing April 12th at all base cities and many other airports system wide. If you have the day off, please come out and show your support. Remind American Airlines management that you are ready to do what it takes to get the contract we deserve. Picketing will be at the following times:
Eastern Division: from 1100 - 1400
Central Division: 1000 - 1300
and Western Division: 0900 - 1200
JFK and BOS will picket from 0700 to 1000
Check out your web site at www.apfa.org for information on Hit and Run Picketings for the month of April. These are picketing events at specific locations where we generate an awful lot of attention from management and the press. Check the hotline and the APFA web site for a list of cities that will participate in these important membership actions.
In Airline Labor Watch: The Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), put in place by President Bush in the Northwest/AMFA dispute is expected to make its recommendations on or around April 12. ; Delta's Pilots (ALPA) were released Friday into a 30-day cooling off period which will expire on April29; United's rampers and passenger service workers (IAM) resume talks in Chicago the week of April 2nd with the machinists resuming talks the following week; and Comair's Pilots (ALPA) are on strike.
That's it for this week. Thank you for your continued support. Remember to wear only your Union Pin, Wings and Nametag on your uniform and turn your bagtag to 4,3,2,1... Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.