11.22.00 – (LAA) – AIRBUSS A300 Accident in Miami, Cabin Door Safety, JFK Based FA Jose Chiu Lost Life in Line of Duty, Negotiations

This is Jeff Bott, APFA Vice President, with a Special APFA Hotline Update for Tuesday, November 28, 2000.

In light of the recent AIRBUS A300 accident in Miami, the APFA has heard Flight Attendants’ concerns about the safety of the A300 cabin doors. The aircraft experienced a pressurization abnormality that is being investigated by the NTSB with participation of the FAA, Flight Maintenance, Flight Service, AIRBUS, and representatives from the APFA, APA, and TWU.

An American Airlines message appended to all A300 cockpit flight plans provides the procedures which will ensure cabin depressurization in the remote event that the aircraft is operated in manual pressurization mode. As always, crew coordination is essential. Please ensure that the preflight briefing from your Captain addresses your concerns regarding the aircraft doors during both normal operations and emergency evacuations.


Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Hello, this is APFA President John Ward with the HotLine Update for Wednesday November the 22nd.

This has been a sad week for us as we mourn the loss of our dear colleague and brother JFK based Flight Attendant Jose Chiu.

Jose lost his life in the line of duty on Monday, November the 20th, while evacuating American Flight 1291, an A-300 bound for Port Au Prince, Haiti, which had returned to Miami.

The accident is still under investigation, however, we do know the flight’s return to Miami and subsequent evacuation was due to a fire warning light which had illuminated in the cockpit. The Captain gave the signal to evacuate and upon opening the 1L door, Jose was thrown to his death on the tarmac below. J ose died a hero doing exactly what it was he was trained to do.

Jose had been a flight attendant for American for 10 years and is survived by his parents and a brother. He was a great friend to those who knew him and he will be greatly missed. The death of one of our own in the line of duty is the first in over 20 years when American Flight 191 crashed on take-off from Chicago/O’Hare Airport, killing all on board. That certainly doesn’t make Monday’s tragedy any easier to deal with. Although we are 23,000 strong, a loss such as this is a very personal one and is felt deeply by each and every one of us.

Funeral arrangements for Jose are as follows:

Visitation: Thursday, November the 23rd, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday, November the 24th, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Conway Funeral Home
82-19 Northern Boulevard
Jackson Heights, New York 11372
The telephone number is: 718-639-3220

The funeral will be Saturday, November the 25th, at 10:00 a.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church, 35th Avenue and 93rd Street,
Jackson Heights, New York 11372;
Telephone Number: 718-639-3888.

There will be a reception from 1:00 o’clock to 4:00 o’clock p.m.
at the LaGuardia Crowne Plaza Hotel; Telephone Number: 718-457-6300.

Flight Attendants attending the services are requested to wear full uniform in honor of Jose. The family has requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society New York City Chapter; Phone number: 212- 463-7787.

You may send cards to Jose’s family by sending them to APFA Communications Department; 1004 West Euless Boulevard; Euless, Texas 76040; Attention: Jose Chiu.

Please keep Jose’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers this holiday as well as all the flight and cabin crew members aboard Flight 1291. From all of us at APFA, have a safe Thanksgiving. Please stay on the line for the rest of this week’s message.


November 20, 2000

Hello. This is Alexis Boilini, member of the APFA Negotiating Committee. On the negotiations front, our informational picketing last Saturday, November 18th, was a tremendous success. APFA was out in full force taking our message to the public. We’ve been in contract negotiations for two years and two years is too long! “It’s about time…” for American Airlines to deal fairly with its flight attendants.

Flight attendants from 40 years seniority to probationers joined their fellow union members at 36 airports across the country, including San Juan. Thanks goes to all APFA representatives who worked behind the scenes preparing for this event. Should American Airlines continue to resist making the improvements our membership has told us must be included in our next contract, we will be out on those picket lines again very soon.

On Thursday, November 16th, American Airlines Management presented the APFA Negotiating Committee with what it called, a “comprehensive counter proposal,” contending that this proposal, “taken as a whole, would place us at the top of the industry.” Rather than allow us ample opportunity to fully review and evaluate the proposal, the Company, instead, chose to circumvent our Negotiating Committee entirely and take this offer directly to you via the media and other means.

The APFA Negotiating Team is currently reviewing this proposal in depth with our attorneys and financial analyst in preparation for our next scheduled session with Management, which is scheduled to begin next Tuesday. Our preliminary analysis indicates that the Company’s proposed pay increases are certainly not “industry leading” and, in fact, are worse than initially thought. Their proposal offers annual average increases of 3.2 percent per year; however, when timing and compounding are considered, the average increase is only 2.54 percent. This amounts to an “improvement” of less than Ω of 1 percent per year when comparing this latest offer with the rejected T.A., and that is actually reduced to 1/25 of 1 percent when timing and compounding are factored in.

More troubling still is the fact that this latest proposal introduces for the first time a major new concession. If the Company were truly interested in resolving negotiations without further escalation, introducing more concessions is most certainly not the way to go about it.

APFA is committed to keeping you informed regarding the truth about the Company’s proposal and plans to have more detailed information out to you very soon. Until then, please remember one thing: Every member of this Negotiating Team and the entire APFA leadership has a vested interest in seeing that this next Contract reflects the desires of the membership. We are all flight attendants and will all fly under the next Contract. The same, however, cannot be said of any member of the Company’s Negotiating Team.

On behalf of your Negotiating Team, I would like to wish you a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving, and thank you for your continued support.

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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