Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine for Friday, September 20, 2002.
The final Overage Leave Awards have been posted and a breakdown of the awards by base can be found on the APFA Web site. The APFA has not been provided with a breakdown of the awards by seniority at each base. The overage at all crew bases other than STL was eliminated through the award of one-year, seven-month, and some six-month key blocks. Partnerships were awarded at STL only. The originally projected overage of 950 TWA-LLC Flight Attendants was reduced to 767 prior to the awards. The overage of 767 was further reduced to 531 through the awarding of Overage Leaves in key blocks of one-year, six-months, and some auxiliary blocks. There were approximately 25 Partnerships awarded at STL. It is APFA’s hope that the remaining overage of 531 will be further reduced through the Overage Leaves being awarded in October for commencement in November.
Due to the Overage Leaves awarded, the TWA-LLC overage for October was reduced by 180. This will allow the 180 senior most TWA-LLC Flight Attendants who originally received furlough notices to be eligible to bid for Overage Leaves in the next round of bidding. The Overage Leave proffer for STL only will open on the morning of Monday, September 23rd and will close on October 3rd. APFA reminds all Flight Attendants awarded Overage Leaves that they must be fingerprinted prior to November 25th or by the day their leave commences whichever is earlier or your leave will be forfeited. If you have questions about Overage Leaves, please visit the APFA Web site under “Reduction in Force.”
All American Airlines and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants awarded Overage Leaves will have an “OL” placed in their HI10. Those awarded Partnership Flying will be advised via an HI6 e-mail. As a reminder to those Flight Attendants who are awarded an Overage Leave and have vacation during their leave, you will need to paper bid for the month your vacation is scheduled. You will do this through the “paper bid” option on the bid ballot. Furlough notices have been sent to all Flight Attendants subject to furlough in October and November. There have been questions as to why the 162 American Airlines Flight Attendants hired after April 10, 2001 and recalled in April and May of this year will be re-furloughed. The reason is that the TWA Integration Agreement provides that only the junior most Flight Attendants on the combined list will be on furlough. When the seniority lists are integrated on October 1st, the 162 AA Flight Attendants will be junior to 745 furloughed TWA Flight Attendants. American does not plan to offer additional Overage Leaves in order to recall Flight Attendants currently on furlough. The Overage Leaves just awarded and those being offered at STL later this month are being offered “in lieu of” additional layoffs. The APFA is greatly distressed at the prospect of any of our members being furloughed. We will continue to work with the company to ensure that everything that is contractually available is provided to those affected by this reduction in force.
From the APFA Safety Department: The National Transportation Safety Board will convene its public investigative hearing on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on October 29, 2002. The hearing, which is open to the public, will convene at 0900 Tuesday, October 29th, at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. It will also be available by webcast on the Board’s website, www.ntsb.gov.
The company has informed the APFA that due to problems in electronic transmission of fingerprints from one company to another, some of the data was lost. The lost data can not be retrieved and a paper trail does not exist. Those Flight Attendants affected will receive notification letters from American Airlines. If you are one of those affected, you will need to submit to the fingerprinting process again. We will update this hotline and the web site with details on this issue as they become available.
The APFA Health Department wants to remind all Flight Attendants that the 2003 Benefits Enrollment will be done totally online during the month of October. Flight Attendants will be required to go through JetNet to make and submit their selections. Flight Attendants will be able to access JetNet through their personal computers or through a JetSet in Flight Service Operations. If you have not already signed on to JetNet and created a sign in password, you may want to do this soon.
American has decided to drop co-pairing on the Super 80 in October. You may notice a change in the distribution of 757 and S80 flying because of this change.
On September 25, 2002, a job expo will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is located between 7th Avenue between 33rd and 31st Streets. The fair will run from 1000 until 1600.
Registration for Guest Traveler will begin on Monday, September 23rd. Employees will be able to register D2 and D3 guest travelers including parents and dependent children. The employee, their spouses, domestic partners, and registered companions will automatically be registered. Deadline for guest registration is October 29th. Employees must complete the registration through Jetnet.
The deadline for completion of the Critical Incident Stress Management Survey included in the June issue of Skyword is October 1. If you no longer have a copy of the survey and would like to participate, you can obtain a copy on the APFA Web site under “APFA General Information.” The completed survey should be sent to the address listed on the opening page of the survey.
The APFA Dues Department will publish an updated list of those Flight Attendants in dues arrears in the November/December issue of Skyword. Flight Attendants should ensure their dues obligations are paid or that their payment plans are current in order to keep their name from being included on the list. For those Flight Attendants awarded Overage Leaves, please remember that you remain dues obligated for the duration of the leave. APFA will soon be sending out letters outlining dues obligation for those on leaves and options for payment. To make payment arrangements for dues owed, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 800-395-2732, extension 8151.
In Washington, D.C. this week, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee began discussions on a proposal that would require all airline cargo be inspected. The legislation would also ban small planes from flying over stadiums and impose prison sentences of up to 10 years for bypassing airport security checkpoints. Unfortunately, the Committee also extended the deadline for up to 40 airports to install equipment that would screen all passenger baggage. The Committee also lifted the restriction on non-U.S. citizens becoming airport screeners.
Election Day is November 5th. In the coming weeks, the APFA is going to begin a campaign to encourage our membership to register to vote if they have not already, update their voting precincts if they have recently moved, register to vote absentee just in case they may be scheduled to fly, and vote early if that option is available in their state. APFA has updated our “Government Page” on the web site to include online Voter Registration sites. The balance of power in our country is at stake in this election. Those of us in aviation labor face some very serious issues such as “third party arbitration” or “baseball arbitration” as it is referred to, safety and security issues, and possible Flight Attendant certification. We must elect candidates that are willing to support our position on these issues. Along these same lines, we encourage our members to donate to the APFA Political Action Committee or PAC. A great deal of information regarding our PAC was in the August issue of Skyword. PAC funds are separate and apart from union dues. They are funds that come from voluntary donations from members. To begin donations to the APFA PAC, please see the “PAC” page on the APFA Web site or complete the PAC donation card in the center section of the August Skyword.
In Industry News:
American made the headlines several times this week. Among the news:
American announced plans to spend $14.6 million to upgrade concourses B, C and D in St. Louis. The upgrades include adding regional jet jetbridges to concourse B and D, adding pre-conditioned air to Jetbridges, installing closed circuit TVs in the terminals, and replacing carpeting in the terminals. Despite record losses, American plans to continue the $1.1 billion dollar international terminal in DFW, the $1.5 billion dollar terminal at Miami, and the $1.3 billion dollar terminal at New York’s JFK Airport.
AMR, parent company of American Airlines, saw its share prices plummet this week to a nineteen year low of $4.90 per share.
American has announced additional changes to the fall schedule. A complete breakdown of these changes can be found on the APFA Web site under “Hot Topics.”
In some good news from the carrier, American announced on Thursday that it would add a second Miami to London Heathrow flight on October 27th using a Boeing 777. On November 1, the airline plans to add a flight from Miami to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic using a Boeing 757.
Next week, American will begin regional jet shuttle service between Boston’s Logan Airport and New York with 10 daily flights. The following week, the service will be expanded to include flights between LaGuardia and Washington’s National Airport. The airline plans to use 37 and 44-seat Embraer jets for the new shuttle service.
American was dealt a blow by the U.S. Department of Labor this week when the DOL sided with American Airlines Pilot Rich Rubin in his complaint against the airline. Rubin claimed that American had retaliated against him after he complained about safety issues. The DOL ordered American to clear Rubin’s personnel file of reprimands stating that he was covered by the federal whistle-blower law. American has filed an appeal.
Delta Air Lines CEO Leo Mullins this week announced that the details of the new Delta low-cost airline unit will be unveiled in a “short number of months.” The airline is deciding route structure, airplanes to be used, and the “employee paradigm.”
The coalition of unions at United continue to work on counter offers on concessions the company says they need to complete their filing for federal loan guarantees. United’s Chief Financial Officer said that bankruptcy is not inevitable. Industry analyst say that if the airline does file for bankruptcy, they would have to drop an estimated 10% of their unprofitable routes and park planes, especially their 747s.
That is it for this edition of the APFA HotLine. Please visit the Web site for the latest information.
Please remember, there are currently 1,566 Flight Attendants on furlough.
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