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12.07.00 – (LAA) – Letter to NMB Requesting Release from Mediation, “Santa Leafleting”, AIRBUSS A300 Accident, Cabin Pressurization, Skyword Magazine, Hit and Run Picketing

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 Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with APFA HotLine news for the week ending December 8, 2000.

The following is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors, as reported by the NTSB. Any errors will be corrected when the final report is complete.

On November 20, 2000, about 1222 eastern standard time, an Airbus Industrie A300B4-605R, N14056, registered to Wilmington Trust Company, and operated by American Airlines, Inc., as flight 1291, a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled international passenger flight, from Miami, Florida, to Port Au Prince, Haiti, had a flight attendant receive fatal injuries during an emergency evacuation after the flight returned to Miami. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The aircraft received minor damage and the airline transport-rated pilot, first officer, 6 flight attendants, and 105 passengers were not injured. One flight attendant received fatal injuries, 1 passenger received serious injuries, and 15 passengers received minor injuries. The flight originated from Miami, Florida, the same day, about 1149.

The captain stated that both automatic cabin pressurization controllers would not control cabin pressure while climbing through 16,000 feet, about 8 minutes after departure, and that the forward outflow valve went to the full open position. About 11 minutes after departure, he stated to air traffic controllers that he was unable to control the pressurization and that he would need to return to Miami. He stated that during the return to Miami, the flight attendant call chime continually chimed erratically and the forward lavatory smoke detector sounded. Twelve minutes before landing, the captain told air traffic controller that he would not need any assistance. About 3 minutes before landing the captain declared an emergency with air traffic controllers and requested that fire trucks be standing by for the landing. He stated that after landing, the ram air switch did not depressurize the aircraft on the ground and that 45 seconds after landing, the aircraft did not depressurize. He requested that the fire trucks check the aircraft for fire.

About 2 minutes after landing, the fire commander reported no signs of fire and stated they would follow the aircraft to the gate. About 1 minute later, the captain reported he had a fire and that they would evacuate the aircraft. Fire department personnel stated that shortly after the captain reported they had a fire and would evacuate the aircraft, the left front door of the aircraft “exploded open” and a flight attendant was ejected out of the aircraft and landed on the tarmac. The other doors opened and the evacuation slides deployed. They assisted the flight attendant on the tarmac and also assisted the passengers as they evacuated the aircraft.

There are a number of negotiations related membership action events you can be involved with this month. Let the company know that your APFA Negotiating Team speaks for you. Drop that company propaganda regarding AA’s latest and not-so-greatest contract proposal into boardmail. If you receive anything via the US Postal Service from American, simply write “Return to Sender” and put it right back where you found it. Send your shoes to Don Carty. Let him know what it’s like to fly a mile in yours. Details can be found in your last issue of Skyword, page 11.

The starting times for Santa Leafleting, nationwide at all base and co-terminal stations, have been finalized. December 22nd is the big day. On the East Coast, picketing will begin at 1100 and end at 1700. West Coast picketing will be from 0900 to 1500, and in the Central Region, picketing begins at 1000 and ends at 1600. Doug Elmore is organizing Info Picketing 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in conjunction with Santa Leafleting on Dec. 22nd as well. He is hoping to have enough people to picket both upstairs and downstairs at O’Hare for outgoing and incoming passengers. No need to sign up… just show up in your uniform.

Also, Hit and Run picketing in Boston, San Jose, California and Miami will take place on December 15th. Details are as follows: in San Jose, meet at Terminal A from 1630 to 1845. In Miami, join us from noon to 1400 at the upper level, outside of Concourse E. Both cities will be picketing the inaugural SJC-MIA flights and San Jose will also be picketing the new San Jose – Maui flight. And finally, Boston will be meeting bright and early from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on December 15th, picketing the inaugural and seasonal Caribbean routes. Wear your uniforms and we’ll provide the picket signs.

Finally, you can read the APFA/AA contract proposal comparison on our web site. Just click on the drop down menu on the front page that reads “Latest news from APFA.”

Don’t forget to wear ONLY your Union Pin, Wings and required nametag with your uniform. Call the APFA Phonewatch if you have any questions at (toll-free) 866-ASK-APFA.

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