Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with an APFA HotLine Update for Thursday, June 6, 2002.
Today, the APFA Executive Committee voted unanimously to appoint Susan Lantz as the interim APFA Base Chair for St. Louis International and Greg Bertolini as the interim APFA Base Chair for St. Louis Domestic. Susan and Greg will appoint Vice Chairs for their respective bases in the near future.
Training for our new STL and ISL Base Representatives will be conducted at APFA Headquarters beginning Tuesday, June 12th.
The process of membership elections for STL and ISL Base Representatives will begin shortly. The first stage of this process is to send all members in these bases Willingness-to-Serve Notifications.
Please stay on the line for the latest APFA news.
Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine for Friday, May 31, 2002.
APFA’s National Safety Coordinator, Joann Matley, was in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with representatives from the FAA and the NTSB. Meetings with key staff members from the House Aviation Subcommittee were also held. On Thursday, May 30th, APFA was present at a meeting of the CAST-that is the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. CAST brings together all the key players-aircraft manufacturers, air carriers, government, and employee groups-to work together to reduce the U.S. Commercial aviation fatal accident rate by 80 percent by the year 2007.
Bob Kudwa, Vice President, Flight; Jane Allen, Vice President, Flight Service; and, Daniel Garton, Executive Director, Customer Service wrote a letter to Undersecretary of Transportation John Magaw dated May 22, 2002, urging the development of improved screening methods for crewmembers. The letter requested that new procedures be created that will provide crewmembers with “seamless and expedited movement within and between airports.” The letter went on to say that, “we need airline employee screening processes backed by a centralized, national database, and that any airline employee screening should be standardized, reasonable, and separate from passenger screening measures.” We applaud the Company for joining the APFA and APA in seeking these changes. As you may know, the APFA has been very vocal in support of enhancements to airline employee security screening that would maintain the integrity of the security system and provide employees with a less cumbersome security process in which to navigate.
Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) introduced legislation last week that would allow pilots to carry guns in the cockpit. In addition, he added several provisions for flight attendants including mandatory self-defense training, instant 2-way communication systems between cockpit and cabin crew, and study of a non-lethal weapon for cabin crew. APFA supports the provisions for flight attendants; however, APFA has received sufficient objections from its members to the idea of pilots carrying guns in the cockpit through calls to the Safety Department and membership surveys on the APFA Web site. APFA does not support this particular provision of this bill. APFA will continue to work towards securing improvements outlined in this bill with regard to cabin crew safety and security.
AMR CEO Don Carty addressed the American Association of Airline Executives Conference in Dallas on May 20, 2002. In his address, Mr. Carty took aim at labor and the Railway Labor Act, the law that governs the way airlines and unions negotiate labor contracts. Mr. Carty and other airline executives support mandatory arbitration of contracts or what they refer to as “Baseball Arbitration.” Mr. Carty told those in attendance at the conference that, “The beauty of this approach is it forces both sides to the center, and avoids a scenario in which all the bargaining leverage belongs to the party that can impose a strike that neither the company nor the traveling public can afford.” He went on to say that he was “open to looking at alternative ideas.” Keep on looking Mr. Carty. This bird won’t fly! The APFA opposes any changes to the Railway Labor Act. We will aggressively lobby against any proposed changes to the RLA and what amounts to the destruction of the process of “negotiating” a contract. If or when the time comes for the membership to act on this issue, we will notify you through this HotLine, the InfoRep HotLine, the web site, and through mass e-mail.
While in Tokyo this week, Mr. Carty announced that American Airlines would begin LAX-Tokyo service starting April 1, 2003. We find it interesting that American Airlines couldn’t maintain the route from Seattle to Tokyo. The elimination of this route caused great distress to the former Seattle based Flight Attendants. Let’s hope that American is willing to invest what it takes to maintain this new route. During this same address, Mr. Carty advocated the elimination of certain security procedures put in place since September 11th, specifically passenger screening at the gate. APFA is very concerned with the fact Mr. Carty would suggest discontinuing any security procedure in the name of saving money when gapping holes in our security system remain today that have yet to be addressed. We will be monitoring this situation very closely.
The Contract books have been shipped to American Airlines. The Company is planning to begin distribution the week of June 3rd. Distribution will take place in Flight Service at each base. If you are on a leave of any kind or on furlough, the Company has informed us that you will receive your copy when you return to work. They have no plans to mail copies to those on leaves or furlough. The new APFA/AAL Contract is now available on the APFA Web Site. In addition, the PDA version is also available for download.
Pursers may now access their accumulated hours toward the annual program participation by entering the code HIF5 in their personal mode. More information on maintaining your Purser qualification can be found in Article 34 and Appendix I Article 34.
The APFA is currently working on getting links to various virus protection software included on the APFA Web site. There have been an alarming number of viruses sent over the course of the last few months. We want to do what we can to protect not only the APFA information system, but our members as well.
The May 2002, issue 4 of Skyword is in the mail. You will notice in the back a list of names of those Flight Attendants in dues arrears. This list has also been posted on the APFA Web site and will soon be placed on APFA bulletin boards throughout the system.
STL and ISL Flight Attendants will begin wearing the American Airlines Flight Attendant Uniform on June 1, 2002. They will continue to use their TWA-LLC identification cards. Please be aware of this fact. All crewmembers should strictly adhere to challenge procedures while in secured areas.
It has come to the APFA’s attention that someone is posing as an APFA Representative and calling TWA-LLC Flight Attendants telling them the APFA does not want them to complete a Membership Application/Dues Checkoff Authorization Card. This person is NOT an APFA Representative. In addition, several of the APFA Dues Checkoff Authorization Cards that have been completed by TWA-LLC Flight Attendants have been tampered with or destroyed. If you have filled out a Dues Checkoff Card and do not see an APFA Dues deduction, please call the APFA Dues Department at APFA Headquarters, extension 8151.
The APFA wants to encourage all members with e-mail addresses to register them with the APFA Membership Department. If you have already registered your e-mail address and have made a change or want to register your e-mail address, please contact the Membership Department by e-mail at Membership@apfa.org, by phone at 800-395-2732, extension 8153, or through the Change of Address Card found in Skyword. The APFA can more efficiently and cost-effectively communicate with you if we have your correct e-mail address.
The APFA has entered into an agreement with MBNA America to offer APFA members the APFA Affinity VISA Card. This program will not only help support our Union, but will also provide our members with exceptional Customer Service and benefits-including a low introductory APR, no annual fee, and the use of the MBNA Internet Site where you can check credit card balances, review statements, and schedule electronic payments. What’s more, cardholders generate income for the APFA at no additional cost to them. That is because MBNA America, the card’s issuing bank, provides funds to the APFA for each new account that is opened. Every time a card is used to make a purchase, MBNA contributes additional funds to help support the APFA. This new program is a great benefit to the cardholder and the APFA. To apply today, you can call 1-866-438-6262. You will need to use the priority code TYB2 to identify yourself as an APFA member. For more information on this new opportunity, please refer to Page 32 of the May 2002, Issue 4 of Skyword.
American Eagle is currently hiring flight attendants. It has been confirmed by American Eagle Flight Service that furloughed American Airlines and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants will be given preferential consideration for these positions. In addition, any American or TWA-LLC Flight Attendant hired by American Eagle will retain their recall rights with American Airlines. If you are interested in applying, please call 1-800-727-3070. More information can be found on the APFA Web site Furlough Page.
American has announced that they have turned down route authority from DFW to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This authority was granted on a temporary basis by the DOT. The company felt the investment in the new route would not be justified for the short duration of route authority granted by the DOT.
Finally, the APFA and American have reached agreement on reciprocal jumpseat privileges for American and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants. The company will be distributing policies and procedures to all Flight Attendants next week. Reciprocal jumpseat privileges will begin on June 8, 2002.
Until next week, be vigilant and safety conscious. Please visit the web site for the latest APFA news.