Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

12.01.00 – (LAA) – Letter to NMB Requesting Release from Mediation, AIRBUSS A-300 Accident in MIA, Santa Leafleting, “Hit and Run Picket”, “Announced Desk Ride”, United Airlines Flight Cancellations

This is Alexis Boilini, member of your APFA Negotiating Team and IOR Flight Attendant with a special HotLine for Thursday, December 7, 2000.

Following a lengthy conference call with the APFA Board of Directors, President John Ward, late yesterday, sent a letter to the National Mediation Board requesting official release from mediation with American Airlines. This follows the NMB’s decision earlier this week to place the parties in an indefinite recess. Once the request is accepted by the NMB, and an offer of binding arbitration is made, the two parties MUST agree to accept binding arbitration in order for that to occur. If one or both parties reject(s) it, then the 30-day cooling off period will begin. Please understand that this is NOT a call to strike. A strike is not what we want. What we want is a contract. A strike cannot take place until AFTER the 30-day cooling off period. But American still hasn’t learned to play fair despite the efforts of your Negotiating Team to work towards the contract you deserve.

American Airlines management is taking every opportunity, once again, to bargain directly with you instead of with your APFA Negotiating Team. AA’s latest offer to implement their proposed pay increases is simply hush money — it is an attempt to appease the membership’s outrage, during the holidays. They can’t convince your Negotiating Team to accept their latest proposal which, obviously, included all of the gory details, so they think maybe they can convince the flight attendants, individually, that a reader’s digest version of the proposal might pass muster with you. The company’s attempt to bypass APFA, the exclusive bargaining representative for the flight attendants, and to deal directly with the membership on subjects of bargaining, will not and cannot be successful. Our membership will not accept such Company conduct; you are more intelligent and far more united than AA apparently gives you credit for. Our membership is not for sale. Guess what, AA, no thank you. This one is no better than the T/A of ’99. In some ways, it’s even worse.

It’s truly unfortunate that AA management doesn’t have a clue how to make this a great place to work. Pay raises that don’t even keep up with cost of living and concessions demanded from its employees during times of great economic prosperity don’t add up to a great place to work. Your team is ready to return to the Negotiating table as soon as American Airlines is ready to be serious in its negotiating.

If you have any questions please call the newly-activated “PhoneWatch” number at APFA Headquarters: the number is toll free – 866-ASK-APFA.

Our next membership action is scheduled at the heart of the holiday travel season. They didn’t hear us loudly enough on the 18th of November, so we’re doing it again on December 22nd. Join your fellow flight attendants at any of our base cities for “Santa Leafleting”. Wear your uniform, union pin and wings and bring a Santa hat. We’ll supply the “departing gifts” for the passengers. Let’s be sure AA knows how united we are in our efforts to gain a contract. Send this strong message to the company: let them know that you’re willing to do what it takes. See you on December 22nd.

 

Hello, this is Peter Day with the Negotiations Hotline for December 1st.

APFA’s negotiating team resumed talks this week in Chicago with the company’s team and the federal mediator Linda Puchala. your negotiating team raised a series of critical questions and concerns about the company’s inadequate “comprehensive package” of nov. 16. 2000. More specifically, your team reiterated to the company the fact that the proposed rates of pay were totally unaceptable, and that the continued inclusion of unacceptable concessionary items would not bring about an agreement. As a result of your continued support and public demonstrations, you are helping your negotiating team in showing the company that being without a contract for more than two years is too long.

The union’s negotiating team remains committed to obtaining a fair and equitable contract, but the parties remain far apart, despite the fact that the talks have intensified between APFA and the company this week. should these talks result in any substantial changes, we will update this hotline accordingly.

This week APFA flight attendants living in Atlanta, as well as members of your negotiating team, surprised Don Carty and seven other “One World Alliance” C.E.O.s, with picket signs and informational picketing in front of the hyatt hotel where American Airlines C.E.O. Don Carty was hosting a conference of ” One World Alliance” partners. Each airline C.E.O received a personal letter outlining the progress of our negotiations (or lack of). This surprise “hit and run” picketing was so successful, that Don Carty was forced to make an appearance on the picket line in an attempt to defuse the effect of the picketing. We want to thank the Atlanta flight attendants for coming out in support of this picketing event.

It is membership actions like this that will be a continued reminder to the company of our strength and determination to obtain a contract. Our next system wide membership action is scheduled for December 22nd.

President John Ward and the negotiating team have prepared a national mailer, which analyzes the company’s nov. 16th, 2000 “comprehensive package”Ö check your mailboxes during the next few days for this special update.

That is all for now, please stay on the line for more APFA and industry news.

 

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with more APFA HotLine news for the week ending December 1, 2000.

In light of the recent AIRBUS A-300 accident in Miami, the APFA has heard Flight Attendants’ concerns about the safety of the A-300 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 A-300 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 pre-flight briefing from your Captain addresses your concerns regarding the aircraft doors during both normal operations and emergency evacuations.

We would like to commend the DCA based Flight Attendants for a job well done, doing what they were trained to do. They evacuated Flight 1683, DCA to DFW, on the 29th of November. The Super-80 carried 61 passengers and five crewmembers with no injuries.

We are busy finalizing our next national membership action: Santa Leafleting. It will take place on Friday, December 22nd and we need you to prepare your schedule accordingly so you can join us at an airport near you! Remember, it is the Friday before Christmas and there will be lots of holiday travelers on their way to visit family and friends. Stay tuned to the web site, the APFA HotLine, or call the Membership Action Line at APFA Headquarters, Ext. 8743 for more information. As soon as the plans are finalized, we will give you more information.

We are also planning to “Hit and Run Picket” on a local level at various cities system-wide. For the month of December, we are focusing on Miami and San Jose. If you’re in either of these cities on December 15th, please come join us! We will be picketing the new San Jose – Miami non-stop, and the San Jose – Maui non-stop. In San Jose, events will begin at 4:30 p.m. and finish at 6:45 p.m. outside terminal A. For more information, please call APFA Headquarters at 800.395-2732, Dana Davis at Ext. 8742, Arlene LeWinter at Ext. 8449 or Jenny Syracuse, Ext. 8448. In Miami, events will begin at noon on the upper level, concourse E, directly in front of the MIA Hotel. For more information, please call Headquarters, Ext. 8441 for Doug Newlon, Ext. 8442 for Randy Trautman, or Ext. 8483 for Marcus Gluth.

American has decided to invest $80 million dollars on increased overhead space so our passengers can bring even MORE luggage on board our already over-stuffed planes. American Spokesman Dale Morris was pleased to announce that the additional space will reduce the number of bags Flight Attendants have to carry to the front of an aircraft to be checked when overhead space runs out. “We see this as a positive, and we hope they will too,” Mr. Morris said. Wrong, Mr. Morris… how could this possibly be a positive: more luggage on the plane causes more delays, more injuries from bags falling out of the overheads, and more luggage for the passengers who insist on dragging their belongings off the plane in the event of an emergency. It is APFA’s desire that this issue fall under the FAA’s mandate and not under AA’s Marketing.

We continue to receive “Unannounced Desk Ride” forms in the mail from Flight Attendants. This is your opportunity to ensure that the Quality Assurance Program AA’s Flight Service has implemented is working for EVERYBODY within the Flight Service Department: Managers, too! If you haven’t yet filled out your Quality Assurance Form from your last issue of Skyword, (you’ll find it in the center section) please do so as soon as possible. If you need another copy you can go to the web site and click on the “LATEST NEWS” drop-down menu on the main page, or request a copy from APFA Headquarters, Ext. 8100.

United Airlines canceled over 100 flights per day on both Thursday and Friday; and on Thursday alone, 85 of the canceled flights were attributed to the mechanics’ pursuit of a new contract. This begins a new season of cancellations and delays that will turn the “better-than-expected” performance by United during the Thanksgiving holiday period into the ground. Currently, they’ve been released from mediation, and are in a 30-day cooling off period.

That’s it for this week. Wear your Union Pin, Wings and Nametags ONLY. Thanks for calling the APFA HotLine.

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