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7.12.02 – (LAA) – TWA Flight 800, State of American Airlines, HR 4625

Hello. This is APFA Communications Coordinator George Price with a special hotline message.

Today, July 17th , at 8:31p.m. Eastern Time, marks the sixth anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800. Twenty-eight working Flight Attendants, four Flight Attendants pass riding, and a number of other TWA employees died in this tragedy. Please take a moment to remember those lost on July 17, 1996.

Please stay on the line for the regular Friday edition of the APFA HotLine.

Don Carty has sent out several messages to employees via JetWire regarding the state of American Airlines. He has alluded to a new business plan, which may require “fewer” employees than are currently employed. Mr. Carty goes on to say that it is his hope that any overage that may occur as a result of his new plan will be dealt with through normal attrition and retirements. The APFA National Officers along with officers from the other unions on the property met with members of senior management today. The group was informed that no decisions have yet been made regarding any changes in the company’s so called business model. Management reiterated that “everything” is being considered. When asked, management re-confirmed to APFA President John Ward that the company is not seeking concessions nor are they asking to reopen our collective bargaining agreement as a means of cost savings. As soon as the APFA is provided with more details of what Mr. Carty and upper management have planned and just how it may affect Flight Attendants, we will update the hotlines and web site. Until then, please avoid rumors and speculation. It only adds to the stress of an already stressful situation.

On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 4625) that would require mandatory self-defense training for Flight Attendants, discreet, hands-free, wireless method of communicating with the Pilots, and a study of non-lethal weapons for Flight Attendants.

The training would also include:

-Training in psychology of terrorists in order to cope with their behavior
-Response to aircraft maneuvers
-Training in proper conduct of a cabin search

The bill directs the Transportation Security Agency to designate a person to oversee the training, set the required number of hours for the training, and outline the qualifications for the training instructors. The APFA is very pleased with the final version of this bill as it pertains to Flight Attendants. APFA issued a statement to the press in which APFA President John Ward stated, “The APFA commends the leadership of the House Transportation Committee for addressing the concerns of Flight Attendants in this bill.” He went on to say, “This legislation provides us with the tools we need to better protect ourselves and our passengers.” The complete text of this press release can be found on the APFA Web site under “For the Press.” The Senate version of this bill faces an uncertain future.

APFA President John Ward traveled to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 11, to meet with Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. President Ward wanted to personally thank Senator Feinstein for sponsoring the Senate Resolution acknowledging Flight Attendants for their professionalism and bravery and discuss with her legislation she plans to soon introduce regarding cabin air quality. To view a copy of the Senate resolution, please go to the web site under “Hot Topics.” President Ward also had the opportunity to meet with several members of the House Transportation Committee. He thanked each of them for the work they are doing for Flight Attendants and our membership in particular.

The APFA Officer on Duty is a service provided after hours by the APFA for Flight Attendants who are involved in an emergency situation. Such emergencies may include an aircraft incident or accident, passenger misconduct, safety or security issues, or an immediate legality issue. All other calls left for the Officer on Duty will be routed to the appropriate department or representative for response the next business day.

The APFA Safety Department wants to remind all Flight Attendants that the company is offering voluntary self-defense classes. Members of the Safety Department have attended these classes and feel they are very worthwhile. If you have not signed up for one of the classes, please consider doing so. You can easily sign up through the American Airlines Flight Service Web site. Once you have attended the self-defense training class, please let the APFA know what you thought. You do this by completing the self-defense survey on the APFA Web site under the “Safety First” icon on the opening page.

The APFA is aware that American Airlines did not send TWA-LLC Flight Attendants on furlough or on inactive status an APFA Information Packet. These packets contained general information regarding the APFA and the Membership Application/Dues Check-off Authorization Card. In order to begin receiving APFA mail including Skyword, the official newsletter of the APFA, gain access to the “members only” section of the APFA Web site, and have the ability to vote in union elections, the APFA must have your personal contact information. If you did not receive an APFA Information Packet, please contact the Membership Department at APFA Headquarters by calling 800-395-2732, extension 8153 or by e-mail at

On Thursday, July 18, 2002, PrimeTime Live will run a story on American Airlines Flight 11. Included will be interviews with family members of Flight Attendants Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong as well as some other American Airlines employees.

The June, Issue 5 edition of Skyword contains a Critical Incident Stress Management Survey. APFA has teamed with the Critical Incident Stress Foundation to develop this survey in order to gauge how our membership is coping with the tragic events of the fall of 2001. The APFA leadership asks that you take a few moments to complete this survey. You will return only the answer sheet using the self-addressed envelope provided.

It was reported last week that the man involved in the LAX shooting at the El Al ticket counter operated a transportation company that serviced LAX. The name of the suspect’s company is similar to the one used by AMR to transport crews, but it is not the same company. AMR uses Five Star Transportation, Inc. The owner of this company is Mr. George Reyes who formally worked for AMR Corporation before opening his own transportation company.

The APFA Hotel Department reports that American has renewed the contract the Sherry Frontenac in Miami. Again, this was due in large part to the feedback received by our membership. Keep those reports coming!

The LGA Base Representatives in cooperation with New York Flight Service will be holding a series of seminars designed to help Flight Attendants deal with the various challenges created by the tragic events of the fall of 2001. Dr. Jeffrey Lating will conduct the seminars. Dr. Lating is the person who trained APFA Representatives in Critical Incident Stress Management and created the CISM Survey in the June, Issue 5 edition of Skyword. Seminars will be offered from 0900-1030, 1130-1300, 1330-1500, and from 1530-1700 on Monday, July 15, 2002, at the JFK Group Room.

On July 18, 2002, the company along with WINGS will be sponsoring a bone marrow screening at the DFW Airport. This is being done in hopes of locating a donor match for one of our fellow Flight Attendants. Screening will take place in the Yandry Suite across from Gate C2 from 0900-1600. It will take about fifteen minutes and will involve a blood test and a short medical history. If you are already on the bone marrow registry, there is no need to submit to the screening process again. Your name will remain on the list. For more information, please call Baylor University Medical Center at 214-820-1583.

I am going to end this week’s hotline with a reminder that there are 1566 Flight Attendants who remain on furlough as of today. You are NOT forgotten!

That is it for this edition of the APFA HotLine. Please remain vigilant and carry your Contract!

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