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8.11.00 – (LAA) – Wage Improvements, Pins and Wings Campaign, Ghost Rides, UOR List, Department of Labor

Contract negotiations with American Airlines took a disappointing turn this week. After reaching agreement on nearly two thirds of our contract, we entered the month of August optimistic that we could now turn to the major issues and make real progress. Unfortunately, the Company informed APFA that is not willing to make the major improvements in wages that are necessary in order to reach a new agreement. When I reported these developments to you on a special Tuesday edition of the APFA hotline, the Company immediately responded by claiming I was spreading misinformation and untruths. Two days later, however, the Company’s spokesperson, Andrea Rader, issued the following statement to local press: “The tentative agreement was a real good package, and we have gone into these talks with the notion that we were willing to move things around in the agreement.” She then went on to state that the Company wants the total cost of the package to remain the same. APFA is slightly more than annoyed that after almost two years of bargaining and a failed t.a. behind us, the Company thinks that we would settle for an agreement comparable to, not better than the one we overwhelmingly rejected. It’s now time to turn things up a notch. We are considering requesting Federal Mediation. We will not sit idly by and just wait for the Company to do the right thing. We will use any and all legal avenues available to us to reach a successful resolution to these negotiations and to accomplish this objective as promptly as possible. What’s next? APFA is starting up the “Pins and Wings” campaign. We are asking everyone to remove ALL Company pins from their uniforms and wear only their APFA Union Pin, wings and required name tag. On September 4th, Info Reps and other volunteers will be conducting a special Labor Day “Call To Action” around the system. Details will be forthcoming very soon. Finally, I’d like to share with you, that APFA will soon be sending out a new bag tag for your luggage. It should be in the mail by the end of the month. That’s about it for this week. I’ve called the Board of Directors to Dallas this weekend to discuss these latest events and to discuss strategy. This hotline will be updated next Friday or sooner if events warrant. Thank you for calling and thank you for your continued support. Please stay on the line for the rest of this week’s hotline news.

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with APFA HotLine news for the week ending August 11, 2000.

The Undercover Ghost Riders are out in full force well before Halloween and it’s getting pretty scary out there. The combination of Agent 007 and Freddie Krueger has turned Flight Service Managers into very busy little spies on your flights. They get especially annoyed with the IMPORTANT STUFF like when we neglect to wear our name tags, deliver First Class drinks without a tray, wear flats in the terminal or forget to immerse ourselves into the Phase III aspect of our job. This, you’ll remember, was relevant in the 80s when computers and hand held games were not an every-day item and passengers had nothing better to do than stare at the stewardesses. These are MAJOR safety issues that must be addressed in a company investigation, you know. The following markets are targeted for August as well as any flight you’re on where someone ELSE might have been placed on the Unannounced Observation Ride, or UOR list:

  • ORD/MIA *MIA/DFW *BOS/SJU; and all
  • EZE/GIG/SCL (Santiago)/GRU (Sao Paolo)/LIM FLIGHTS

I think that pretty much covers the entire system so basically folks, be on your toes, do your job as well as you always do, and bring on the ghouls. Please pay special attention to 15-minute cabin walk-thrus and crew rest (is there even such a thing?). Maybe American should “ghost ride” Continental and see why they’re doing so well right now!

American will be paying out $1.7 million dollars to 99 job applicants that were rejected for employment due to medical reasons. This has become the largest Department of Labor settlement obtained for people with disabilities. AA admits no wrongdoing.

In Industry News:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and OSHA signed an agreement this week that will give us new protections on the aircraft. The APFA has been fighting for this since 1977. The US Average Injury rate is 3.1% – the aviation industry’s average injury rate is a whopping 14.8%. This will definitely give us some relief.

United will hire 1,300 pilots by the end of the year, a company spokesman announced. The company called its current situation “unacceptable”. Well it looks like their pilots’ “work-to-rule” plan has been working pretty well to date.

The APFA web site at is in full swing and that chat room is getting pretty active. Log in with your last name and last 4 digits of your Social Security Number and then click on “CHAT” to see what your fellow Flight Attendants are talking about! You will also need to sign up for the Bulletin Board and your user name is your last name followed by your 6-digit employee number and your password is anything you choose.

From the Hotel Department, we have renewed our contract at the Dorint Hotel in Brussels and the Marriott in Zurich.

Base Meetings for the remainder of August include DFW/IDF Reps in OPS on the 16th, Terminal A and on the 17th Terminal C; ORD Reps in OPS day on the 18th of every month, and SFO/SFO-I on August 30th.

Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine, don’t forget to wear your Union Pin proudly. Call your Base Chair to become an Info Rep today!

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