Hello. Today is Friday, July 26, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine.
Willingness-to-Serve Notifications were sent out on July 22nd to all STL and ISL Flight Attendants for the positions of APFA Base Chair, Vice Chair, and Operational Council Representatives. Willingness-to Serve Notifications were also sent out to all LGA Flight Attendants for the position of Vice Chairperson. APFA members in those bases interested in running for any of these positions must have their Willingness-to-Serves in by 1000 Central Time on August 21st.
From the Safety Department: Flight Attendant Safety Manuals are being checked by the FAA. The APFA Safety Department has received several reports recently of FAA inspectors checking In-Flight Manuals. It is each Flight Attendant’s responsibility per FAR 121.137 to maintain an up-to-date safety manual and have it with them every time they report to work. Individual failure to comply can result in a personal fine. You must have all sections of the manual including ALL service portions.
The Conference report on the Supplemental Appropriations bill passed by the House and Senate this past week prevents the TSA from moving ahead on biometric ID programs for crew and passengers. The bill cites problems with the program and anticipates that money will be allotted in next year’s budget to move forward. This is a disappointment since a biometric system would greatly facilitate the clearing of security by crewmembers. APFA will urge Congress to incorporate this system into security procedures as quickly as possible.
On Tuesday, the House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing on TSA’s progress. When asked about Pilots carrying guns, DOT Secretary Norman Mineta said that he was asking the new TSA Acting Director retired Coast Guard Commandant James Loy to review alternatives including whether Pilots should have lethal or non-lethal weapons. Commandant Loy has directed the TSA technical center in Atlantic City to “look at some possibilities” of arming Pilots with weapons. This was a change in the Bush Administration’s position, which had adamantly been opposed to letting Pilots have guns. Mineta then added that the associated costs to train all the nation’s 80,000 Pilots could run as much as $860 million initially and another $250 million per quarter for recurrent training. These costs will be paid by the government and have, thus far, not been allocated in the current budget being considered. Without the money, this program will not be launched. Stay tuned. This is a rapidly moving subject.
The House Select Committee Friday, July 19th, voted to delay by one year the December 31, 2002 deadline for airports to begin screening all checked baggage. APFA along with the other members of the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions are adamantly apposed to this delay. The unions are planning a joint response to what appears to be a weakening in the commitment by Congress and the Bush Administration to enhance aviation security.
APFA InfoReps have reported many rumors circulating out on the line. In an effort to help eliminate the speculation and curb the rumors, we are going to address some of the rumors on this week’s hotline.
*The APFA leadership along with the leadership of the APA and TWU met with members of AMR upper management on July 12th. They were told that the company has two committees in place. One is looking at plans for the short-term, and the other is looking at long-term plans to make the company profitable. No long-term plans were communicated to the group. All unions were told they would be kept in the communication loop.
*APFA has not been notified of any pending reduction in force, which the company must do prior to any formal reduction in force. In addition, the company is required to offer Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying prior to any reduction in force. This process takes time. As of now, this has not happened, and, in fact, the company has given us no indication that it will in the immediate future. Should this situation change, we will update you via this hotline.
*According to what APFA, APA, and TWU Officials have been told by management, the F100 remains a part of the American Airlines fleet plan.
*The incentives for retirement offered by American Airlines last week do not apply to Flight Attendants. They are aimed at non-union employees. In fact, many of the incentives contained in the company’s offer mimic the improvements to our retirement plan negotiated in our new contract.
There are many resources available to the membership that can be used to obtain information, which may help to eliminate rumors and speculation. The APFA HotLine, InfoRep HotLine, the APFA Web site, and APFA InfoReps are among the best places to start. There are links on the web site to aviation news sites, other labor union web sites, and company information sources. We encourage members to access all of the information available. If questions remain, please call your APFA Base Representatives or the APFA Contract Desk. No one should cause themselves or other Flight Attendants undo stress over inaccurate information.
The Hotel Department is pleased to announce that we will remain at the San Francisco Hilton for long layovers. We have also reached an agreement with the company to assign all long OAK layovers to the San Francisco Hilton.
It has come to the APFA’s attention that the City of New York has a curfew for Central Park. No one is allowed in the park or on park premises after 0100 in the morning. Failure to comply with this city ordinance may result in a required court appearance.
The APFA would like to once again remind TWA-LLC Flight Attendants that American Airlines sent out APFA Information Packets in early May. Unfortunately, they did not send these packets to those Flight Attendants on furlough or on an inactive status. If you did not receive a packet and are wondering why you have not heard from the APFA, it is because we most likely do not have your mailing address. The company does not provide the union with any Flight Attendant’s personal contact information. This has always been problematic, but more recently has proven to be quite a challenge when trying to locate and communicate with TWA-LLC Flight Attendants. It is up to the individual Flight Attendant to notify the APFA of any changes to their address, telephone number, and e-mail address. If you did not receive an APFA Information Packet, please call the APFA Membership Department at 800-395-2732, extension 8153 to have one sent.
If you are an STL or ISL Flight Attendant who has received a bill from the APFA after turning in a Dues Check-off Card, this was due to the fact the APFA did not receive the card in time for the company to deduct dues from your paychecks since May 1, 2002. American will only deduct the current months dues. If the bill has the $25 initiation fee and you have turned in your Check-off Card, please disregard the $25. It will be deducted from the first payroll check that dues are deducted from.
The Communications Workers of America or CWA are currently attempting to organize gate, ticket, and reservation agents at American Airlines, TWA-LLC, and American Eagle. Please take a moment to offer support to any agent wearing a CWA union pin. For those that are not, let them know the benefits of being a union member. For more information on the CWA organizing drive, please read the CWA article in the July, issue six of Skyword.
Members that have Internet access are encouraged to register their e-mail addresses with the APFA Membership Department. By having this e-mail address on file, it will enable the APFA to send “Action Alerts” or “Mass E-mails” to the members and to more efficiently and cost effectively communicate with them. Members can register their e-mail addresses by calling Membership, sending an e-mail to Membership@apfa.org, or by completing a Change of Address Card found in the center section of Skyword.
Have you completed yours? The June issue of Skyword contains a Critical Incident Stress Management Survey. The APFA has teamed up with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation to survey our membership to see just how we are coping with the events of the fall of 2001. If you have not completed your survey, please do so today. In addition, encourage all Flight Attendants to do the same. In order for the APFA to determine how best to help those in need, the union needs to know how the membership is doing. The results of this survey will provide that information.
The company has notified the APFA that they intend to make changes to the Flight Attendant liquor and headset procedures. The most notable change will be on the domestic narrow body where the Number 1 or Lead Flight Attendant will be responsible for liquor deposits instead of the Number 2 Flight Attendant. The APFA is reviewing these changes. The complete text of the changes will be contained in an upcoming manual revision.
As we have previously reported, it was confirmed that a Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant’s uniform, company issued keys, and I.D. were stolen from an apartment in New York City. This is not the first such incident. APFA urges all Flight Attendants to stow their keys, I.D. and uniform pieces in secure areas whether at home or on a layover. If any of these items are ever stolen, you should contact your AA Service Manager immediately.
Until next time, remain vigilant and have a safe week. Remember, there are 1,566 Flight Attendants that remain on furlough