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6.24.00 – (LAA) – Negotiations Update, USAir, United Airlines, Merger Hearing

June 24, 2000

Hello. This is John Ward, President of APFA, with the negotiations portion of the APFA Hotline. Today is Saturday, June 24, 2000. Negotiations continued last week in White Plains, NY. Most of our discussions were over APFA’s proposed Merger and Acquisition Protection. Unfortunately, this issue is still not settled. What we have asked for in this important area is fair and reasonable. The one remaining stumbling block is over the Company’s reluctance to agree to have AMR be held responsible in the event American was ever guilty of violating Article 1. At the end of the day on Wednesday, we proposed a side Letter of Agreement to accompany Article 1 that is identical to that which is found in the pilots contract, and the Company seems to have a problem agreeing to have the same level of enforcement against AMR in our contract!

Since it’s more a matter of “when” rather than “if” American enters into a merger agreement with another large carrier, this issue is, of course, a major concern . What also concerns your APFA Negotiating Team is the fact that the Company seems to have such a problem granting us the protections we want in this area. It’s a no cost item to them, but one which would guarantee you fair and equitable treatment in the now likely event of a merger.

We also discussed a number of scheduling items in Articles 7, 8 and 9, as well as Foreign Language Speakers and the Purser Program.

Talks are scheduled to resume on Monday back in New York. First on our list will be the Merger and Acquisition Article, followed by Purser and more scheduling.

Things are intensifying at the table. The “easy” stuff has been resolved. It’s now on to the important items. Pay. Retirement. Scheduling. We sincerely appreciate your support, as we can’t do it without you. Thanks for calling, and now please stay on the line for more hotline news.


Hello, this is Joann Matley, APFA National Contract Cooridinator with the APFA Hotline News for the week ending June 23, 2000.

In the 6th merger hearing on Capitol Hill in just over a week, United and USAir are having a hard time finding supporters for their 4.3 billion dollar deal. United is number 1 in the world – and USAir is sixth. The two combined would give them 24.7% of the total market share according to DOT data from the first five months of 2000. This is a little bit too big for most people’s taste. United, however, is trying to placate lawmakers by selling off most of USAir’s Reagan National Airport operations to a new airline, DC Air, owned by Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television.

If KLM and British Airways are successful in their merge, it could result in at least 16,000 people being fired. This is the prediction put out by an independent study group, and was a result of the first in-depth analysis of the merge between the two airlines. Eventually, this would provide a savings of $790 million per year. A potential 7200 more jobs could be lost if BA decides to withdraw from short-haul flying out of Gatwick and reduces the size of the two airlines’ long-haul fleet.

TWA and AirTran have reportedly been discussing a merger agreement. Both sides confirmed that they are ALWAYS open for discussion, but neither revealed any details. TWA hasn’t turned a profit in over 2 years.

The FAA is planning to fine American nearly $700,000 for knowingly operating 2 Fokker 100s with the wrong circuit breakers 113 times during the Spring of ’99. American says they will appeal because, quote “the violation does not justify the amount of the fine.” AA says they did attempt to comply with a service bulletin issued by Fokker in a ’96 warning against problems involved when using the wrong breakers, however, not all of their mechanics were on the same page. Their ‘wiring diagrams’, they say, were not properly updated by Fokker to reflect the changes.

American will be settling 2 class action suits involving the frequent flyer program. The suits alleged that AA changed the terms of its program without notifying customers ahead of time. This settlement will total tens of millions of dollars, AA announced.

United Airlines was slammed with a 2-1 decision claiming discrimination by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that clears the way for awarding monetary damages. Some of the 16,000 Flight Attendants employed by United from ë89 to ë94. The suit claimed that female F/As were required to be thinner than male F/As because, quote ìThey wanted attractive, sexy Flight Attendants,î says their attorney, Edith Benay, referring to United Executives. She continues by explaining that ì. It was just lack of respect for women who were doing their job well, in some cases for many years. All of a sudden, when they started to gain weight, they were out.î A monetary amount has not yet been disclosed.

United and AA intend to fly some of their shorter-distance flights at lower altitudes in order to cut delays nationwide. TWA, Delta and Continental started this procedure earlier this year. It will apply to flights traveling less than 500 miles and originating out of Chicago, O’Hare.

From the Safety Department: Per Federal Aviation Regulation 121.393, Flight Attendants need to be at their assigned duty stations for taxi, take-off and landing. Please do NOT switch assigned jump seats with other crew members especially for landing and taxi-in. Refer to your station assignment chart for the correct jump seat location.

From the Scheduling Department, beginning June 27 and running through July 1, we will be in the last five days of the contractual month. Flight Attendants should review Article 9.P.6. or Appendix I, Article 9.P.6. for procedures regarding pay protection. To qualify, you must lose your last trip of the month due to cancellation or illegality, and subsequently do no flying. An OE is not considered as a ‘last trip’; however, a TT or a double TT is. Should this happen to you, you must put your name on the make up list for all days originally scheduled to fly and until eight hours after the arrival time of the original sequence, and you must make an effort to recover the time lost via the make-up system. Otherwise, you will forfeit the cancellation pay. Your obligation will appear in a header at the top of your HI1. After the obligation window has passed, the pay will be automatic following a search for your name on the make-up list by the computer. Please call the APFA Scheduling Department at headquarters extension 8161 if you have any questions. Additionally, the Company is not very forthcoming with embargo info at Lovefield. All non-rev travel in and out is under embargo through June 30.

July is right around the corner and so are two more InfoRep Meetings. RDU will be held July 13th and SEA July 20th. Locations will be announced on future APFA HotLines. Encourage your fellow members to attend these informative meetings. It is their chance to meet our new National Officers and members of Team 2000 and get answers to their questions about Negotiations. All members in good standing are welcome.

That’s it for this week. Wear your Union Pin proudly and call your Base Chair to become an InfoRep! Thanks for calling the APFA HotLine.

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