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11.16.01 – (LAA) – NTSB Investigation in Crash of Flight 587, Payroll Mistakes

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator with the APFA HotLine. Today is November 16, 2001.

The NTSB investigation team continues to analyze the structural damage to specific aircraft parts caused by the crash of flight 587 on Monday. The team has interviewed American Airlines Flight Attendants from IMA and JFK who either recently worked this aircraft or were in the vicinity of the aircraft when it crashed. They anticipate wrapping up the on-site investigation by the weekend. Meanwhile, the news has reported that the aircraft encountered wake turbulence from the 747, which took off immediately before flight 587. This, they say, may have been a contributing factor to the separation of the vertical stabilizer, also known as the tail, from the aircraft. We will keep you posted when we have more information.

Two memorial services have been scheduled so far. There will be a memorial for Joseph (Joe) Lopes, on December 1st in Manhattan. The service will be held at St. Paul’s Chapel located on the Columbia University Campus at noon. Enter the main gate of Columbia at 116th St. and Broadway or Amsterdam and follow the map. A reception will follow the service. There will also be a Memorial Service for Captain Ed States on Saturday, November 17 in Princeton, New Jersey at 1:00 p.m. The service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 33 Mercer Street. Please wear your uniform. If you need directions, please call the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home at 602.924.0242. Condolences on behalf of Captain States may be sent to: Mary Alden – 100 Perrine Road – Monmouth Junction, NJ 08552. Additional information regarding memorial services will be posted on the APFA web site at

The JFK HotLine number is a recorded message for flight attendants, with information on memorial services and other issues relating to the crash of flight 587. The number is 1.800.272.1080. AA has reported a new toll-free number for crewmembers to report your security concerns: 800.527.0276. This number will be manned Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Voicemail is available during off-hours. If you leave a message, please include your full name, employee number and contact number for the following day.

On a positive note, it looks like the Republicans in the House finally got their acts together and passed the Aviation Security Bill. This bill provides for federalization of all screeners, 100% inspection of checked bags, fortified cockpit doors, increased air marshals on domestic flights, and other important security items, all of which APFA has been intensely lobbying for. We would like to thank the APFA membership for their diligence in contacting both the House and the Senate to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Now that President Bush has received the Bill, it should be signed before Thanksgiving. It will take time for all of the aspects of the Security Bill to be put into place, but we are pleased that Congress has worked out a compromise.

For the last two weeks, APFA has been working diligently to assist you in correcting mistakes, deductions and underpayments that occurred in the October 31, 2001 combined retro/pay check. Unfortunately, not all issues have been resolved and the Company has not responded in a timely manner to these problems. Therefore, it is imperative that we protect the rights of our members who may have outstanding issues with their retro/paychecks of October 31, 2001 by filing Notices of Dispute to toll any time limit issues that may arise. If you believe you were underpaid on your 10/31 paycheck, please follow these steps:

First, assemble all supporting documents to show the problem. If the supporting documents are not available, you should attempt to reconstruct or obtain documentation (i.e. HI1, ePays, etc).

Second, personally call the payroll help desk directly at (ICS) 918.254.3433. You should keep written notes containing the date(s), time(s) and name(s) of persons with whom you spoke regarding the problem. Explain the problem to payroll in as much detail as possible. Be patient despite the frustration of having to deal with payroll … remember, the payroll representatives didn’t create the problem … the problem was created because management made the decision not to do an accounting in the October 31 paycheck. Ask payroll for a detailed accounting of how they arrived at the figures and deductions in the check and ask that this be sent to you in writing. You should follow up this request with a written confirmation to payroll of this request for an accounting.

Third, enlist the support of your FSM. The Company needs to take responsibility for solving these problems.

And, finally, if the problem still exists, include a copy of your 10/31 check and prepare a brief written chronology of what you believe the problem is and contact your Base Chair to file a NOD. Remember to include all of the aforementioned documentation.

American has decided NOT to furlough 200 pilots on December 2nd as they had originally planned. They cited Military Leaves and Personal Leaves as the primary reasons for the lack of need for further reduction in force. Since there still remained an overage of only 50 pilots after all of the Leaves were granted, AA decided not to go ahead with the lay offs citing re-training costs. American did furlough 386 pilots in October and 209 in November.

If you are on an overage leave of absence, you should have received a 2002 benefits enrollment packet in the mail. This packet includes a 2001 worksheet with the payment calculations you will make for the remainder of 2001, as well as a 2002 benefit election form. The 2001 worksheet does not include the supplemental medical monthly payment calculations because that will not be in effect until 2002. Make sure that you complete the 2002 benefit elections form and return it to the designated address postmarked no later than November 26, 2001. This election form does include the one-time enrollment for supplemental insurance. You will need to submit a copy of the worksheet when you submit your insurance payments.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.

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