WORKING FOR THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES
No one knows better than the Flight Attendants of American Airlines that these are tough times at our company. In fact, times have been tough for a long time for us. Each and every day, beyond the unfortunate but typical inquiries at APFA over contractual violations, cuts in pay and changes in our work rules, we field a new call from a member who is facing extraordinary challenges as a result of the diminishing resources we are provided. Every story resonates with your Union leadership. Indeed, the list of disheartening, disenfranchising, and downright abusive developments is long.
In spite of it all, we are on the eve of a tremendous accomplishment. Never before has an airline labor group come out of bankruptcy with the promise of an industry-rate contract and the ironclad path to achieving it. Never before have the organized labor groups of a bankrupt airline played such a role in determining their own destiny. Never before have the workers stood up to the gamed system that is the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and forced the better option on their own management. It has never happened before and is a true testament to the American Airlines Flight Attendants.
This vantage point didn’t happen by accident. It happened because our membership knows how to get it done. When management handed down their Section 1113 Term Sheet last February, we instantly channeled the steely resolve we had in 1993.
• We delivered a petition of "no confidence" in management's business plan with over 11,000 signatures, gathered in a matter of days.
• We held system-wide demonstrations that changed the bankruptcy narrative management had worked so hard to craft.
• We stormed Capitol Hill and made sure everyone knew the truth and if they didn’t want to listen we made them listen.
• We rallied in front of the U.S. bankruptcy court in lower Manhattan with hundreds of our brothers and sisters.
It was vintage APFA. We had on display the same grit and fortitude that the unionists that made this job a profession all those years ago had. They would be proud. We should be proud.
Over the past 24 months, APFA:
• … pushed for the inclusion of flight attendants in the roll-out of Known Crew Member program through lobbying the administration and Congress;
• … assisted in drafting current and final language for OSHA protection in the air through a coordinated legislative and administrative strategy;
• … successfully petitioned the TSA to allow flight attendants to bypass the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners at all airports;
• … increased our presence in Washington, DC, through the tireless efforts of our own Julie Frederick, by retaining the services of O’Neill and Associates, and by ramping up the APFA political action committee;
• … initiated the first reciprocal cabin seat agreements for flight attendants – current total stands at 15 agreements with other airlines;
• … fought for and succeeded in seeing the recall of all flight attendants on the seniority list by November of 2012;
• … secured unlimited recall rights for flight attendants on current seniority list;
• … traveled to bases system wide four different times conducting retirement seminars;
• … added SMF as a satellite base in September 2011, offering more flexibility for flight attendants;
• … continued our fight for the issues close to flight attendants throughout the industry by taking a leading role the Coalition of Flight Attendants;
• … created and published APFA iPhone and iPad apps available on apfa.org;
• … traveled to bases system wide in 2011 and 2012 to brief flight attendants on negotiations;
• … implemented Cabin ASAP for flight attendants to improve safety;
• … enhanced flight attendant make-up procedures outside of bargaining;
• … joined the ITF
• … mobilized membership to rally against corporate greed and the exploitation of the bankruptcy system by delivering vote of no confidence from over 75 percent of APFA membership, organizing system-wide demonstrations, and assembling outside of bankruptcy court in Manhattan;
• … secured a seat on the all-important unsecured creditors committee;
• … assembled a formidable team of bankruptcy professionals to help guide APFA through the Chapter 11 process, including: Dan Akins, Bredhoff and Kaiser, Guerrieri, Clayman, Bartos and Parcelli, The Jefferies Group;
• … took an active role in all UCC business – including Laura Glading’s participation in all meetings and conference calls – to ensure APFA’s voice is heard
• … banded together with the Pensions Benefit Guaranty Corporation, APA and TWU to successfully defend our pensions against termination in bankruptcy;
• … assisted in drafting final language for the First Responder Workplace Fairness Act
• … secured, through protracted and sometimes bitter negotiations, the Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP) which mitigated the furlough of up to 2,300 flight attendants and gave our most senior members a dignified path to retirement;
• … understood early on the value of a merger with US Airways for all parties involved;
• … forced AMR into confidential discussions to with US Airways;
• … achieved Bridge Agreement with US Airways to ensure APFA members rebound to industry-standard contract in record time immediately following AMR's emergence from bankruptcy as a merged carrier.