February 25, 2000
Hello, this is Michelle Nasca, JFK Vice Chairperson, with a negotiations update for Friday, February 25.
As stated in last week’s hotline, the first formal Union proposal was exchanged with the Company on Feb. 15, by APFA TEAM 2000. This proposal calls for an incentive compensation formula to be included in the flight attendant contract rather than an arbitrary company policy as it is today. This would ensure that the Company could not change the profit sharing formula, unless it was first negotiated with APFA. The plan calls for a payout on a sliding scale depending on the carrier’s performance. Payments would vary dependant upon American’s financial situation. The monies paid under the plan would be computed into each flight attendant’s pensionable earnings. Payments would be made no later than March 15 for profit sharing based on the prior year’s performance. As of this date, the Company has not presented a substantive response.
Do you have a computer? Make sure to access the APFA web-site at www.www.apfa.org and click onto the Negotiations link for Negotiations news. The link also provides an interactive ‘Negotiations Question of the Week’ for response directly from you, the Membership. You may also send your comments via e-mail at [email protected] We encourage your input and feedback during this round of bargaining, as your Team intends to keep You in the driver’s seat.
If you don’t have a computer, there are many other ways for your voice to continue to be heard: fill out the the tear-out communique card in the center of Skyword, leave a phone message at 1-800-395-2732 ext. 8715, or leave a personal voicemail for any individual negotiator (voicemail extensions are also located in Skyword), and the best way to receive information is to volunteer to become an Info Rep by contacting your Base Chair.
Results of the membership surveys and other inside negotiation news will be shared at future Info Rep and Base meetings. Info Reps can plan to attend the first of these meetings in New York at the JFK Ramada Plaza Hotel on March 6 at 12noon. In attendance will be local base representatives, some members of the APFA 2000 Negotiating Team, as well as some members of the Special Advisory Committee. The meeting will be open to members in good standing at 1PM. That’s the JFK Marriott on March 6 with a meeting for Info Reps at 12 noon and a base meeting at 1PM.
Check out the APFA web site for more negotiations news at www.www.apfa.org. Thank you for calling the APFA hotline and stay on the line for Marcus Gluth with more APFA and industry news…
Hello. This is Marcus Gluth, Miami International based Flight Attendant, with more APFA HotLine news for the week ending Friday, February 25th.
Topping the news this week is the worsening labor situation over at US Airways following a breakdown in talks between management and the Association of Flight Attendants and a growing battle of the press releases. The AFA represents the 10,000 in-flight professionals at the nation’s fifth largest carrier. After over three years of negotiations and repeated requests by the union, the National Mediation Board declared an impasse in the talks on Friday, the 18th, and made a proffer of binding arbitration to the parties. As expected, the AFA rejected binding arbitration, triggering a cooling-off period set to end at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, March 25th.
In the interim, the NMB will continue attempts at resolving the dispute in ‘super mediation.’ If no agreement is reached by the March 25th deadline, both parties will be free to engage in ‘self help.’ Lynn Lenosky, the AFA MEC Council President for the Flight Attendants stated in a press release that ‘If we don’t have a new contract … that recognizes our dedication to US Airways, it will be CHAOS”!.’ Standing for Create Havoc Around Our System, CHAOS is a sporadic strike action, with no advance warning, designed to keep management guessing the union’s next move.
Responding to the AFA press release, US Airways Chairman Stephen Wolf declared that if no agreement is reached, the company will be ‘left with no choice but to shut down the airline immediately after a 30-day cooling-off period,’ which, according to the corporate press release, may ultimately result in the furlough of many US Airways employees. US Airways management has succeeded in reaching agreements with other unions on the property for what it calls ‘parity plus one percent’ salary deals which the Flight Attendants steadfastly refuse to accept. Sixteen sections of the current contract remain unresolved, including pay, benefits, retirement, and work rules.
At Northwest Airlines, talks continue between management and the Teamsters union. In a message to rank-and-file Flight Attendants on February 16th, union leaders characterized the recent implementation of a 4 percent pay increase by Northwest management as unlawful under the Railway Labor Act, saying that it constitutes a unilateral change to work rules. According to the union, however positive a pay raise might seem on the surface, making any unilateral change now may open the door later to other unilateral changes that do not benefit Flight Attendants.
In other industry news, German carrier Lufthansa grounded its fleet of 26 747-400 long haul aircraft after finding cracks in the copper lines carrying fire-suppressing agents to the engines. The FAA is ordering an inspection of such systems on similar planes, though it is not requiring a mass grounding of 747’s at this time.
Here at American, Vice President of Human Resources Jayne Allison notified APFA President Denise Hedges that the Company will soon offer long term care insurance coverage to all active and retired employees. The voluntary program will include an open enrollment period requiring no qualifying examination for active employees, as well as the option to include spouses, parents, and grandparents. Coverage will start in August and information will be forthcoming through paycheck stuffers, Flagship News articles, etc.
Note these important dates and deadlines for Flight Attendants on your calendars:
* March 7th, the primary vacation bidding period will close;
* March 16th, the secondary vacation bidding period will open;
* March 23rd, the secondary vacation bidding period will close;
* March 24th, requests are due from those International Flight Attendants with 30 plus years who wish to drop their Super 80 qualification.
For information on vacation bidding, read the packet placed in your Flight Attendant mailbox. For information on dropping your Super 80 qualification, see the March bid sheet cover pages. You may also call the APFA Contract Department at headquarters extension 8171.
Also coming in March, the APFA Annual Convention will take place from the 13th through the 17th at the Marriott Solana in Westlake, Texas, near DFW. Members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of the meeting. An awards and recognition dinner will be held the first evening, March 13th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $25.00 and must be purchased in advance from Greg Sweasy, at headquarters extension 8143.
Upcoming APFA base meetings are: JFK / LGA on Monday, March 6th; DFW and LAX on Wednesday, March 8th; and IDF on Tuesday, March 14th. Check your local base bulletin boards, or the APFA web site, to verify meeting places and times.
That’s it for this week. For those of you on the Internet, be sure to check out the various links attached to this HotLine on our web site at: www.www.apfa.org. Remember to always wear your APFA pin proudly as a sign of our independence, unity and strength. And thank-you for calling the APFA HotLine.