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4.01.00 – (LAA) – Negotiations Update

Today is April 1, 2000, and this is John Ward, APFA President.

Today is the first day of a new APFA National Officer Administration. First, I would like to wish Denise Hedges and all of the outgoing officers the best of luck as they return to the line and to offer my gratitude to the Hedges Administration for their years of service to the APFA.

My administration is proud to serve the largest independent Flight Attendant Union in the US, representing more than 22,000 AA Flight Attendants. The Union colleagues that now join me are Jeff Bott, Vice President; Juan Johnson, Treasurer; and Linda Lanning, Secretary. We all look forward to our four year term of office. Of course, our first and foremost goal is to continue the current work at hand to achieve the finest Flight Attendant contract in the industry. We can reach this goal if the APFA Membership stays informed throughout the process and remains unified.

This past week APFA TEAM 2000 presented the final articles of the formal Union proposal to the Company management team. The proposal was presented as a complete package and was developed directly from the recent membership opinion surveys. Management’s team has asked for time to thoroughly review this proposal, with the week of April 10 set for the Union and the Company to continue formal bargaining.

During Collective Bargaining, issues may arise that have the potential of taking our Union’s focus away from our primary goa l… and that is being united and prepared as we face the Company at the bargaining table. I am aware that after the announcement of the resignation of two of our Negotiators, some speculation and rumor surfaced in the field. The negotiations process is an intense and time consuming task. The two Negotiators who chose to resign, did so due to their own personal reasons. I would like to share specific quotes taken directly from both of these former team mates resignation letters. I quote, ‘Due to unforeseen and unexpected situations with my family, I am no longer able to serve as a contract negotiator for APFA…It is with much thought and conviction that I must do what is best for my family.’ And, again ‘I deeply regret having to leave the team. I take so much pride in having been part of this team and what we on the team desire to achieve for the membership.’ I urge all APFA members to turn your focus back to our task at hand….standing together to negotiate the best Flight Attendant contract in the industry.

During my first week in office, I intend to draft a letter to the entire APFA Membership outlining negotiations strategy, Union proposals, reviewing the member survey results, and giving each of you an opportunity to be part of this collective goal. AA Management will be watching us to test our resolve. We must be firm in our convictions. I ask each and every one of you, personally, for your support and solidarity in helping to achieve our collective goal.

And now, Jeff Bott, the new APFA Vice President would like to discuss more ways that YOU can participate in Negotiations 2000. Jeff…

Thanks, John. As the newly elected APFA Vice President, I have participated in two recent Base and InfoRep meetings in New York and Los Angeles. I have found that the members want to be kept informed throughout the negotiations process and they want to help. I cannot stress enough how much we need your participation in the newly revitalized InfoRep Program. We have had so many new InfoReps recently who have stepped forward to help disseminate current and factual information to our membership, that we are having some delays in assigning new InfoReps their confidential pin numbers used to access the confidential InfoRep HotLine. We utilize AT&T for our system, and they are experiencing temporary technical difficulties with issuing these new pin numbers. They have assured us that this delay will be short-lived. New InfoRep packets will be mailed out to all InfoReps toward the end of this month. We hope that you will read the special InfoRep article featured in the April Skyword, and that you will consider joining our InfoRep Negotiations Army.

The next scheduled InfoRep/Base meeting will be held for IDF on Tuesday, April 11 at APFA Headquarters in Euless, Texas. InfoReps will meet with APFA Negotiators from 10am to 11am, followed by a meeting for all members in good standing from 11am to 1pm. The bases of Chicago have planned a joint InfoRep/Base meeting for Wednesday, April 19, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel near O’Hare. Again, negotiators will be present to share inside negotiations information. I plan to be present at both of these meetings and look forward to meeting many of you.

Your new APFA National Officers know how important communication is to our membership and we plan on streamlining the way in which we relay information to you. We pledge to you that we intend to work with the Board of Directors and all other APFA Departments to improve the timeliness of communications.

One of our first items of business is to appoint a support staff of National Coordinators and Division Representatives. We have carefully considered all interested candidates for these positions and nominations will be forwarded to the Executive Committee. A teleconference of the Executive Committee will be held on April 14. The APFA Executive Committee consists of the four National Officers and five Ad Hoc members elected by the Board of Directors. A majority of the Executive Committee must confirm nominations. John, Juan, Linda and I look forward to the challenges that we have in front of us. We have many plans for the APFA. We hope that you help to make your organization stronger with YOUR participation in the weeks ahead.

Stay proud and stay unified as we move forward to Contract 2000. Marcus….

Hello. This is Marcus Gluth, Miami International based Flight Attendant, with more APFA HotLine news for the week ending Friday, March 31st.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 28th, several tornadoes tore through the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, touching down in downtown Ft. Worth, as well as parts of Arlington and Grand Prairie, areas that are home to many AA Flight Attendants and DFW/HDQ employees. According to Flight Service communications, there have been no reports to the Company of any Flight Attendants suffering serious injury or property damage. Buildings close to our layover hotels in Ft. Worth were damaged, but crews laying over were unharmed. Relocation of crews in the days following the severe weather did occur due to the closure of many Ft. Worth streets.

Though the recent strike by engineers and technical workers at Boeing has ended, American and other airlines have experienced delivery delays of many new 777 and 737 aircraft. Due to the delays, Flight Attendants have seen increases in cancellations, rescheduling and substitution of equipment at many bases, especially IMA and IDF. If your sequence is canceled, please be sure to review Article 9.P. or Appendix I, Article 9.P. for cancellation procedures. Call the APFA Scheduling Department at extension 8161 if you have any questions.

Labor items topped the industry news this week as the Association of Flight Attendants at US Airways reached a long-sought tentative agreement with management during the early morning hours of Saturday, the 25th. The agreement, which must be ratified by the rank-and-file Flight Attendants, narrowly averted the planned CHAOS activities by the AFA, as well as the threatened shut down of the nation’ s sixth largest airline by US Airways management. The agreement, reached after more than three years of bargaining, calls for a signing bonus, 11 percent in raises over the five year life of the contract, improvements to retirement, and the inclusion of Family Leave procedures. US Airways Flight Attendants saw their last pay raise in 1996. Their ratification ballots are due to be counted on May 1st.

Another labor showdown may be brewing at US Airways, this time with the pilots. Talks are underway to modify the current agreement, which allows for the operation of 35 regional jets by the US Airways Express commuter affiliate, in order to double the permitted amount to 70. US Airways Chairman Stephen Wolf has stated, however, that he would ultimately like the regional jet fleet to grow to 400. Ballots on the amendment will be counted April 7th.

Meanwhile, United Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), are reportedly in a near deadlock with management in their first contract talks after becoming the largest employee-owner group at United. Smoother negotiations had been expected after the 1994 employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, which is set to start expiring next month. Renewal of the ESOP is subject to negotiation. An ALPA spokesman reported that mediation was a likely scenario after the April 12 amendable date of the current agreement.

Daylight Saving Time will begin this weekend throughout most of the U.S., officially starting at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 2nd. If you live in one of the areas recognizing the time shift, be sure to set your clock ahead one hour  think  spring forward  on Saturday night. It’ s also a good time to change the batteries in your home smoke detectors.

An APFA Base Meeting for ORD and IOR will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wyndham Hotel, at Cumberland and the Kennedy Expressway, the 2nd stop on the  L from O Hare. Regularly scheduled base meetings will also be held during April for IDF on Tuesday, April 11th; DFW and LAX on Wednesday, April 12th; and SFO/SFO-I on Wednesday, April 26th. Check your local base bulletin boards, or the APFA web site, to verify meeting places and times.

Hotel reviews will be conducted during April in: Greensboro; Washington Reagan, short; Washington Dulles, short; Rochester, New York; San Juan; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Rome. Your comments about our layover facilities are important. Recent improvements in many of our layover hotels were made much easier due to your reports. Please direct your comments regarding our layover hotels to the APFA Hotel Department at headquarters extension 8306, use the pink hotel debrief form in operations, at the APFA website’s hotel section..

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: 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.

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