Friday, May 4, 2001
Hello this is APFA President John Ward, and this is the negotiations portion of the HotLine for Friday, May 4, 2001.
Contract talks ended today without a Contract or release. The APFA Negotiating Team met with the Company in Washington this week hopeful that we would emerge with a Contract. Last week, the National Mediation Board indicated to us that if an Agreement had not been reached during this session, a release into a cooling off period would be forthcoming. Unfortunately, it is apparent that President Bush has taken his campaign to trash the Railway Labor Act one step further by stripping the NMB of its authority to perform its role under the act by, among other things, instructing it not to grant releases. This, of course, is totally unacceptable and, needless to say, we are furious. The Company is refusing to bargain seriously with us and President Bush is refusing to let us exercise our rights under the RLA. Now, more than ever, your voices need to be heard on the Hill on May 22. More information is given later in the HotLine.
Despite all of the rich agreements that have recently been reached in the industry, American Airlines still expects us to settle for wages that hardly meet the industry standard, never mind meeting an industry leading Contract. There was absolutely no progress made during these talks. The Company is still unwilling to pay us a decent wage, yet they had no problem forking out 9,600,000 dollars in compensation to Don Carty in 2000. That is equal to 320 times the average American Airline Flight Attendant’s annual salary. We do not deserve this treatment, and we do not intend to take it. We have been underestimated before yet showed the Company and the labor world just how resilient we are. We are stronger today than we have ever been.
The NMB has reminded the parties to continue the communications Black-Out concerning substantive issues under negotiation.
And now, please stay on the line for more important negotiation news. . . .
This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with more APFA HotLine News for May 4, 2001.
The Roller Coaster to a Contract continues; and, until we are in the position to hit the Company where it hurts the most, following a 30-day cooling off period, we must take our plight to Congress. It is a crucial time for all Flight Attendants to meet on Capitol Hill Tuesday, May 22nd, to put pressure on our governing officials to stay out of our business. We will be meeting at the American Federation of Teachers Building, 9th floor conference room, at 555 New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., beginning at 9:00 a.m. The telephone number is 202-879-4400. Please go to www.www.apfa.org or click here for a map.
You will be responsible for your own travel into Washington. We will send groups of 4-5 flight attendants to each appointment with your Congress-person. APFA will conduct briefings for all flight attendants prior to heading off to your appointments. You will be armed with a packet which will contain the following:
1) map to your appointment;
2) hints on how to address your congressperson;
3) talking points to cover with your congressperson;
4) literature explaining “our story”; and,
5) a debrief form.
We will meet back on the East steps of the Capitol at 1500 for a rally. Contact the APFA Membership Action voice mail at extension 8743 by Tuesday, May 8, 2001, to pledge your commitment to join us on Capitol Hill. We will need your name, employee number, phone number, and zip code so that an appointment can be arranged for you and your group. We look forward to seeing you there, and letting Congress know that we are determined in our fight for the Contract we deserve. You will be receiving a membership mailer shortly with more details of the status of negotiations and something new to add to your bag tags. Please check the web site for a copy of “An Appeal for Flight Attendant Justice.” We are asking all of you to make several copies of this letter and present it to influential leaders in your community whom you believe can make a difference in our struggles to attain a Contract. Please see www.www.apfa.org for more information.
Stay informed by calling this HotLine regularly and checking the APFA web site. Show your unity by wearing your Union Pin on the plane and at all Company training events. Your bag tag should read 4,3,2,10 Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.