Hello. Today is Friday, November 1, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator with the APFA HotLine.
The APFA National Officers met with American Airlines CEO Don Carty and other members of Senior Management on Tuesday, October 29th. Mr. Carty personally briefed the Officers on the Company’s current financial condition and future prospects. Rumor Control: The Company has not asked the APFA for concessions. Management did ask for open dialogue between the Union and Company officials and employee participation in identifying ways to save money.
The current state of the airline industry has resulted in much rumor and speculation. If it has not been reported on the APFA HotLines and/or web site, the company’s information sources, or through credible news services, it should be considered rumor. If you hear information that you cannot substantiate, please feel free to contact the APFA Communications Department at [email protected] or by calling 800-395-2732, extension 8308.
The Company has notified the APFA of several changes being made in flight service procedures. They include:
-Beginning November 1, American will begin charging for liquor on flights to and from the United States and Europe and the United States and Japan. Latin American, Mexican, and Caribbean destinations where liquor is currently complimentary will be included at a later date.
-November 1, Flight Attendants will begin charging passengers $2.00 for purchase of headsets for all flights with in-flight entertainment.
-The responsibilities of the Flight Attendant Training Support Desk will soon be limited to travel arrangements, proffers, and triggers only. They will no longer schedule Flight Attendants for training. Scheduling EPTs will be the responsibility of the Flight Attendant.
-The Company will soon discontinue the “Someone Special” and “AAchievers” Programs. Final dates for redemption of points and cards have not yet been determined.
-American has also decided to make changes to the Attendance Control Policy effective November 1. The changes include:
*Elimination of second Attendance Coach and Counsel Letter if a current one exists; *First Written Warning Conference may now be conducted in person or by phone at the Flight Attendant’s option;
*The Intent to issue First Written Warning Letter has been revised to include the date by which the Flight Attendant must schedule and participate in a conference. Failure to do so by the stated date will result in progression to a First Written Warning;
*The Thirty-Day Duration Letter has been revised to include language stating that failure to provide medical substantiation may result in loss of sick leave benefits;
*Distribution of Attendance Coach and Counsel Letters will be put in Flight Attendant’s mailboxes. All others will be sent via FedEx;
APFA is currently reviewing these changes.
Today, American Airlines furloughed 420 additional Flight Attendants. This brings the total number of Flight Attendants on furlough at American to 2,148. Last week, the APFA sent furlough packets to all Flight Attendants to be furloughed effective November 1. The packet contained useful information regarding unemployment and COBRA benefits as well as links to many job sites and government agencies. It is APFA’s understanding that American mailed their furlough packets sometime last week. If you are one of those who are scheduled to be furloughed November 1 and have not received the company’s information, you can view the entire text on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site. The APFA will continue to provide updates to Flight Attendants on furlough through the Furlough Page and the APFA HotLine.
The Texas Workforce Commission will be conducting Rapid Response Meetings at the American Airlines Learning Center on November 12-14. These meetings will include information on unemployment benefits, insurance, finances, coping with change, and more. For more information on these meetings, please call Jeannie Tristan at 817-737-0311 or access the information on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site under “Job Opportunities.” The Rapid Response Meetings are open to all AMR employees that have been affected by reduction in force.
There will be a Fall Career Fest held at the American Airlines Learning Center on Tuesday, November 5th from 0930 until 1530. For more information on this event, please call 817-467-5400, extension 299.
A Memorial Service will be held for the crew of American Airlines Flight 587 on Tuesday, November 12th at 1300. APFA’s National Officers will be in attendance. The service will be held at the JFK Ramada Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom. The hotel is located at the entrance to JFK Airport off of the Van Wyck Expressway.
The Retirement Seminars being conducted around the system are a big success. Those held in DFW this week were standing room only. The remaining schedule for the Retirement Meetings are as follows:
LGA-November 4. Sessions are scheduled for 1500 and 1730 in the third floor Flight Service Conference Room.
JFK-November 5. Sessions are scheduled for 0900, 1100, and 1300 in the Passenger Service Group Room, 2nd floor, Terminal 8.
BOS-November 6. Sessions are scheduled for 0800, 1200, and 1600. Please contact BOS Flight Service for locations.
Meetings for 2003 are being planned. When we have more information, we will update the meeting notice on the Retirement Page of the APFA Web site.
Due to the Long Term Reduction in Force at the ISL base and the resulting “fall-offs” from ISL to STL, a dual vacancy for the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of ISL exists as of November 1. The APFA Executive Committee met via a teleconference this morning and appointed ISL Flight Attendant Carol Hajicek as the new interim Chairperson for ISL. The APFA National Ballot Committee will send Willingness-to-Serve Notices to all ISL Flight Attendants on November 8th, and an election for Base Chair will be held shortly.
IOR Chairperson Nancy Moehring has appointed IOR Council Representative Michael Meyer to act as Vice Chair until such time the IOR Council can meet to formally appoint a new IOR Vice Chairperson. Nancy will notify the council when that meeting is scheduled.
The APFA Hotel Department reports that the Hotel Surveys are pouring in. Please take the time to complete the 2002 Hotel Survey found in the center section of the October Skyword and on the Hotel Page of the APFA Web site. The information you provide will be invaluable when properties come up for review.
Tuesday, November 5th is Election Day throughout the country. If you are off on that day, please take the time to vote! As we have reported for weeks on this hotline, these are critical elections for airline labor and Flight Attendants specifically. Please support those candidates that back our position on safety and security issues such as mandatory self-defense training and a study of non-lethal weapons for Flight Attendants and instant hands-free two-way communications between the cabin and cockpit; Those that oppose “Baseball Arbitration” for airline labor; And, candidates that support extension of unemployment benefits for displaced airline workers.
In Industry News:
On Tuesday, American said that it was considering selling off AMR Investment Services. Industry sources report the sale could bring in between $140 million and $190 million dollars. AMR Investment Services, although not part of the core business, has been a successful part of AMR.
The implementation of the “rolling hub” concept began on November 1 at DFW. This system will allow American to space flights out over a broader period and use up to 11 fewer aircraft.
United this week announced that it may revive its low-fare unit to compete directly with discount carriers such as JetBlue, Southwest, and Frontier.
Their company notified US Airways Pilots this week that 326 Pilots would be furloughed by early January and another 145 Pilots would be laid off between January and April 2003.
Hawaiian Airlines will cut 150 jobs in the next several months. This will include Pilots and Flight Attendants.
Boeing announced on Thursday that as a result of deferrals and cancellations of orders for the 767, they would cut the production staff from 1,400 to 700 next year.
And finally this week, the current issue of Skyword contains an article entitled “The TWA Seniority Dispute-Unraveling the Issues.” A footnote at the very end of the article states that Sherry Cooper, one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit discussed in the article, was serving as General Chairperson of IAM’s District Lodge 142 at the time the lawsuit was filed and is still actively serving as a General Chairperson of IAM while simultaneously serving as the APFA STL Domestic Chairperson. The statement regarding Ms. Cooper’s current IAM position was drawn directly from information contained on the IAM web site at the time the article was submitted for publication. APFA had no reason to doubt the accuracy of the IAM’s statement regarding the identity of its own officials. Ms. Cooper reports that her IAM position terminated on July 31, 2002, prior to the time she assumed her APFA position. Thus, the statement in Skyword, and the IAM web site posting upon which the Skyword statement was based, were in error. APFA had no reason to doubt the accuracy of the IAM’s publication of the identity of its own officials and did not intentionally include any misinformation in the article or seek to misrepresent Ms. Cooper’s status.
That is it for this edition of the APFA HotLine. Please visit the APFA Web site for the latest information.