3.08.02 – (LAA) – Seattle Base Officially Closed, NMB Issues Ruling Tuesday on Single-Carrier Application

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine for Friday, March 8, 2002.

APFA would like to extend our sincere thanks and well wishes to the Seattle base, which officially closed today. APFA’s Executive Committee passed a resolution on Monday at the EC meeting in Seattle and it reads as follows:

Whereas, American Airlines opened a Flight Attendant base in Seattle in October, 1991 for approximately 130 Flight Attendants in connection with the start up of nonstop service from Seattle to Tokyo, Japan; and,

Whereas, the Seattle Flight Attendants have consistently and loyally supported the APFA, including during APFA’s last two contract campaigns; and,

Whereas, American Airlines has announced closure of the Seattle base, effective March 8, 2002,

Be it therefore resolved that the APFA Executive Committee hereby expresses its sincere thanks and gratitude to the Seattle Flight Attendants for their support over the years, and

Be it further resolved that the APFA Executive Committee recognizes the current Seattle Base Chair Robert McIntyre, Seattle Vice Chair Pete Callaway, and Western Division Representative Lori Bassani as well as all previous Seattle Representatives for their work over the years on behalf of the APFA members based at Seattle.

The National Mediation Board issued a ruling Tuesday on the single-carrier application filed by the Allied Pilots Association. The NMB found that AA and TWA-LLC are a single carrier for representation purposes under the Railway Labor Act. The NMB indicated that the existing pilot unions would remain in place for 30 days after which it is highly likely that the APA will represent pilots at both American and TWA. APFA and TWU have also applied for single-carrier status and APFA anticipates a similar ruling soon in our case. We will keep you updated.

APFA is keeping a close eye on Senator Bond’s “Seniority Integration” Bill. He has unsuccessfully attempted to attach it to several much larger bills and it appears he may try again next month. We will be monitoring the supplemental Appropriations Bill that should start moving in April. Congress is about to take a two-week recess but we will keep you posted.

In an abrupt turn of events this week, the House and Senate passed an economic stimulus bill (H.R. 3090) that includes unemployment benefits extension. President Bush has indicated that he will sign it. This will extend benefits for 13 weeks but some states may extend further, depending on the state’s “agreement” with the federal government. As of next week those Flight Attendants who filed for unemployment insurance as of March 15, 2001 are eligible to collect up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment insurance if they are still unemployed and actively searching for work. There are no retroactive benefits (e.g. you cannot collect for the time between when you exhausted and when you begin to collect extended benefits).

APFA would like to remind all Flight Attendants that the best way to address a problem with a co-worker, be it a Flight Attendant or a pilot, is to contact Professional Standards. Please contact APFA Headquarters for the appropriate extension for your Base with regards to Flight Attendant Standards. If you are in need of contacting APA’s Professional Standards, please call your local base reps for their contact numbers.

APFA posted the furlough Questions and Answers today. The Q&As were too extensive to read over the HotLine so please visit the website at www.www.apfa.org and click on the furlough page.

As we mentioned last week, we have set up a temporary bulletin board on APFA’s website for those furloughed flight attendants who may be relocating to another city beginning April 1. There is an area for any Flight Attendant who may be offering a room or apartment for rent, and there is an area for the furloughees to post their requests, as well. Please take a moment to fill out this form if you are either in need of an apartment or have one for rent.

American has made some administrative changes to the FMLA policy. APFA has already filed a Presidential Grievance on the FMLA changes that went into effect October 22, 2001. The changes include:

  • FMLA leaves will now be administratively approved for a maximum of one calendar year;
  • Accumulated on-duty hours are verified for administrative approval upon leave request and do not need to be re-verified prior to each intermittent absence;
  • Any FMLA leave granted prior to October 22, 2001, where the leave actually commenced, is grand fathered for up to one full year or until the expiration date of the approved leave;
  • All IODs will automatically concurrently burn FMLA time. There is no IOD duration requirement of four or more days as originally communicated.
  • Accrued vacation may be used in conjunction with FMLA only during the vacation fiscal year (May through April). Accrued vacation can be used in the January through April period prior to the vacation fiscal year only if the F/A has more than 1250 accumulated on-duty hours in the past 12 months.

Remember, FMLA applications must be received within five business days of return to work; receipt of the FMLA application by AA Medical must be 15 business days from the date the application is requested or 20 business days total from the date the absence closes, whichever is earlier; and if more information is requested by Medical, it must be received within 10 business days of notification to the Flight Attendant.

If you have any further questions about FMLA, please contact the Contract Department at APFA Headquarters, ext. 8271.

That’s it for this week. This HotLine will be updated Friday, March 15, 2002, or sooner if events warrant

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