The APFA Board of Directors today unanimously approved the mailing of a strike authorization ballot to our 23,000 members, at the request of our negotiating team. You will soon receive a strike ballot and a special mailing from the APFA which will explain the specific circumstances that led to the Board's decision, and how critical an overwhelming "YES" vote is to achieving an industry-leading contract. An affirmative strike vote does not mean we will, or we must, engage in a strike against American Airlines. It is simply an expression of the will of the membership to strike when, and if, it becomes necessary.
The membership must now become the "power of yes" campaign. All members must exercise their right to vote and to send a clear message to American Airlines that the time for negotiating a fair contract is now. Our members are becoming very impatient with the pace of negotiations. A positive strike ballot will send this clear message to American Airlines Management.
In order to further hit home the fact that "It's About Time," the APFA negotiating committee has decided that in light of the status of negotiations, that it is time to turn the heat up a notch. Effective immediately, all APFA Members should turn their bag tags to 4,3,2,1. Make sure that you and your flying partners make the change today. This will send yet another message to AA Management that we are ready to do what is necessary within our legal rights to get a contract.
Although we know there is much speculation and concern about the recent announcements on the proposed acquisition of TWA and key US Airways and United assets and how this complex deal will affect APFA Flight Attendant's job security and seniority, all Flight Attendants should be aware that decisions about possible seniority integrations would be ultimately decided by the APFA Board of Directors after much discussion, education, and membership feedback. In the interim, we should all remain totally focused on the issue at hand. That is achieving a contract that fairly reflects our contributions to the successes of American Airlines. We must stress the importance of participating in all membership actions including sending a positive strike vote back to the APFA and AA management. In a statement to the press today, APFA President John Ward stated "It is ironic that American can find more than $5 billion dollars for these various assets, but can't invest in its best assets, its employees, who work every day serving our passengers to contribute to the profits that make these deals possible."
All flight attendants will have a chance to meet the APFA Negotiating Committee at the upcoming Strike Ballot Briefings that will take place at all base cities this month and the beginning of February. Negotiators will be available to answer all questions regarding negotiations and a potential strike. Plan to attend a meeting at your base city or while on sit time or a layover at another base. We will also use this time to actively recruit volunteers for local base phone trees. These phone trees will be critical in disseminating information quickly to Flight Attendants during a 30-day cooling off period or job action.
As a reminder, the APFA Phone Watch is up and running at APFA Headquarters. Volunteers including APFA Negotiators will be manning the phones Monday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to answer your questions about negotiations. To have your questions answered, simply call 866-ASK-APFA. Hours will be extended as events warrant.
The following is a tentative list of base and co-terminal cities where we will be picketing on January 19th. All Picketing will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. except for the following three stations: DFW/DAL will picket from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m and JFK will picket from 07:00 am to 09:00 am. Please stay tuned to the web site, this HotLine, or the APFA PhoneWatch, toll-free at (866)ASK-APFA for more information as we get closer to this event.
Boston, La Guardia, JFK, Newark, DCA, Baltimore, Dulles, Raleigh/Durham, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, DFW, Dallas Love Field, Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, California and Oakland.
The following Commuter Cities are tentatively holding picketing on the 19th of January, however, please be sure you check the web site, HotLine or PhoneWatch prior to "Picketing Day" to ensure your city is included: Albany, Charlotte, Greenville/Spartanburg, Orlando, Philly, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Ft. Myers, San Juan, Syracuse, Tampa, Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Cincinnati, Houston Hobby, Houston Intercontinental, Kansas City, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, St. Louis, Colorado Springs, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Reno, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Tucson. If your commuter city was not mentioned here and you would like to volunteer your time to make your commuter city happen, please call APFA HDQ, ext 8743 and leave a message for us.
The dates, times and locations for the Strike Ballot Briefings are as follows: ALL meetings will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with the exception of DFW which will be from 12:30 to 3:30. Details are as follows:
Manhattan Beach Marriott
1400 Parkview Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 310-939-1440
Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport
18740 Pacific Highway, South
Hyatt Regency SFO Airport
1333 Bayshore Highway
Hyatt DFW Airport
DFW Airport, TX
9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Logan Airport Hilton
85 Terminal Road
New York-Jan 30
Ramada Plaza Hotel
JFK International Airport
Sheraton Crystal City Hotel
1800 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
Wyndham Miami Biscayne Bay
1601 Biscayne Boulevard
RDU-Feb 2 Holiday Inn Crabtree
In other APFA News: In response to the news stories about the recent cases of polio in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, AA Medical is offering free polio vaccinations to flight attendants and pilots flying to these locations. The vaccinations are voluntary and will be available at JFK, MIA and BOS AA Medical. Currently, there are no travel restrictions to these countries. Short term travelers probably do not need booster vaccinations since most countries require that children be vaccinated before attending public schools. However, if you determine that you wish to receive a vaccination, the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute recommends that you wait 12 hours before flying.
The risk to crew members and short term visitors is believed to be very low. Most cases of poliomyelitis occur in children under 6 years old and it is most easily transmitted to family members. There has not been a naturally acquired case of polio in the United States since 1979.
For more information contact the CDC at 1-800-232-2522.
The progressions program, because of scheduling constraints, has been shortened considerably. Classes now are scheduled from 1215-1505. In the past, APFA was afforded the opportunity to meet and talk with the flight attendants during the registration period from 1100-1300. Since the company has decided to scale the last few classes back, APFA will not be present.
We will be participating in the 2001 program at a later date.
That's it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA hotline and remember it's Union Pin, Wings and Nametag only as well as 4,3,2,1... on your bagtags!