Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

2.14.03

Hello. Today is Friday, February 14, 2003. This is Linda Lanning APFA Secretary, with the APFA Hotline.

The APFA Board of Directors met this week in special session with our financial analyst, advisors, and members of the negotiating committee. After a thorough briefing on the company’s finances and our options, the Board passed Resolution #3. This resolution outlines our ‘Readiness Plan’ to respond to the company’s request for concessions.

The principles are clear:

  • APFA must prepare to respond to all contingencies that may arise. To that end, the APFA Negotiating Team and advisors will begin work next week to research how APFA may provide American financial relief, while maintaining, to the extent possible, the integrity of our contract.

  • APFA‘s financial analyst will actively monitor the company’s finances, and will continuously provide his finding’s to the Negotiating Committee so that they may base their decisions on the most current information available. Please understand that the detailed financial information provided to the APFA Board, and advisors is covered under a confidentiality agreement due to the fact that the information is proprietary in nature. All union groups have signed confidentiality agreements.

  • If the APFA is satisfied relief is necessary, the relief granted will be specific in nature, and will be limited in scope and duration.

  • If any relief is granted to the company, such relief must be restored as soon as there is no longer a demonstrated need for relief. In essence, relief will be temporary and not permanent. There must be a snap-back type stipulation to any relief provided.

  • The APFA will require protections and guarantees from the company in the event APFA determines relief to the company is necessary.

  • The APFA membership participation in this process will be actively encouraged. The membership will be kept informed throughout this process. Any relief granted to the company must be approved by a majority of the membership.

  • The APFA recognizes the importance of a working with the other unions on property at AMR. We will continue our relationship through the continued exchange of information, and joint meetings.

The APFA leadership is keenly aware of the membership’s need for information. We are working to provide information to you as quickly as possible. As previously stated, the information provided to our financial analyst is of a confidential nature and can only be shared with members of the APFA leadership who have signed a letter of confidentiality with AMR. The work has already begun on a national mailer to all Flight Attendants. Please be patient. Understandably, this may not be easy considering the current environment.

The Friday, February 14, 2003, Wall Street Journal incorrectly reported that changes to our contract would not require membership ratification. Per Article XI of the APFA Constitution, any changes to our contract would require ratification by a majority of the members in good standing.

Leaders from APFA, APA and TWU met again this morning with members of senior management for another of what has come to be referred to as ‘active engagement meetings. CEO Don Carty and COO Gerard Arpey provided an update on the company’s finance’s to the union’s.

The Board of Directors passed resolution # 2 during their meeting in Washington, D.C.

This resolution allowed APFA President John Ward to enter into a letter of agreement on CRAF flying. The recently signed agreement covers the following:

  • (A1/A3) positive space travel to and from the nearest American/American Eagle city to a Flight Attendant’s residence to the point of aerial embarkation

  • Clarification on Alaska non-overwater flying requirements

  • Flight Attendants on the CRAF Operation will receive twelve (12) periods of twenty-four (24) consecutive hours free of all duty at her/his home base station each contractual month, one of which shall be movable at the company’s option.

  • Modifications to on-duty limitations in order to allow Flight Attendants to fly all CRAF flights from Europe to and from the Middle East.

  • Required rest periods for CRAF flying.

 

The text of each of these letters of agreement and the board resolution can be found on the APFA Web site ‘CRAF’ page.

For those interested in participating in CRAF flying, we strongly encourage you to read thoroughly Part II of Appendix E, beginning on page 393 of the contract. This language outlines among other issues, notification, obligation, duty rigs, compensation, staffing, and insurance.

Just a couple of highlights to remember when considering participation in the CRAF Operation:

  • To volunteer for the CRAF system wide volunteer list, complete HISEND form 31

  • To remove your name from the CRAF Volunteer List, answer ‘NO’ to all questions on HISEND form 31

  • Once added to the official CRAF reserve list, you are obligated to the operation for ninety days or until CRAF has been deactivated.

  • Resignation from the CRAF reserve pool must be submitted in writing to your service manager thirty (30) days prior to the end of the ninety-day obligation.

  • You will not be eligible to volunteer for CRAF if you are on vacation, sick, leave of absence, part-time or non-flying assignments

  • CRAF flying will be assigned first in seniority order then, using a first-in, first-out principle.

  • The CRAF Reserve call-in period of six (6) hours is from 1500 to 2100 Central Time.

  • The CRAF Reserve quick path using VIPCREW is #7CRAF

  • CRAF Reserves will be paid $3.00 per hour for each hour actually flown when transporting troops, or when the duty day exceeds the limit in Appendix I. Article 7.J.1 in addition to other compensation such as Reserve Override, Purser and Galley to which the Flight Attendant is normally entitled.

  • CRAF Reserves will have a monthly max of 85 hours, but may be scheduled in excess in order to complete the equivalent of two missions during a contractual month, not to exceed 90 credit hours.

  • CRAF Reserves cannot pickup or drop trips. This applies even if they have maxed out.

 

From the Contract Department: A letter was sent out to all Flight Attendants on Overage Leaves regarding payment of medical premiums while on leave. Please disregard this letter. There has been no change to the method in which Flight Attendants on leave pay their insurance premiums. Flight Attendants on Overage Leave may only pay their premiums upon their return to active status.

In the past few weeks, APFA has received a large volume of Postage Paid Communique and Change of Address Cards that were blank, defaced, and in some cases contained vile and threatening language. This serious abuse of a membership service has resulted in unnecessary costs to the APFA. For this reason, the union must discontinue the Postage Paid feature of these cards. We sincerely regret having to take this action. The APFA Membership Department encourages Flight Attendants who need to change their address, phone, or e-mail address to do so on-line. Simply click the ‘APFA Membership and Registration’ link on the opening page of the web site. You can also make changes by calling Membership at APFA Headquarters at 800-395-2732, extension 8153.

All S80 Flight Attendants based outside of STL must complete the TWA MD80 Differences Package prior to March 10, 2003. Once they complete this package, they must enter SPC code 51 in their personal mode.

The ballots for Chair and Vice Chair for BOSI, LAX, IDF, and IOR, and Vice Chair of IMA were mailed on February 8th. They are due by 0900 Central Time on March 11th. Questions or requests for duplicate ballots should be directed to the National Ballot Committee at APFA Headquarters, extension 8311.

On Tuesday, February 11th, the National Ballot Committee retrieved Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for Ad Hoc Member of the Executive Committee Place 5. Willingness forms were received from ORD- based flight attendant Lonny Glover and LAX based flight attendant Joe Robinson. Willingness forms may be submitted until March 6, 2003.

The terrorist threat level is at a high level. The APFA Safety Department reminds all Flight Attendants to remain vigilant. Be familiar with your surroundings and adhere to all security precautions while on layovers and on the airplanes. The TSA has issued a Security Information Circular dated February 5, 2003, which provides background information related to the increased threat level. The most current security threat information distributed by the TSA is available on the SSI Web site accessible through the Flight Service Web site at www.aafltsvc.com. The APFA encourages all Flight Attendants to access this information prior to each trip.

As a follow-up to the recent Skyword article regarding pension plan funding and security, the APFA will soon have further detailed information available on the APFA Web site regarding this issue. In the meantime, retirement questions should be directed to APFA Contract Representative on Duty or Retirement Counselor at your base. Please visit the Retirement page of the APFA Web site for retirement and pension information.

The details of the Overage Leave and Partnership Flying Proffer due to open this month are being worked out between the APFA and the company. Once this process is complete, we will update the hotlines and the web site.

We want to thank all Flight Attendants who took the time to call or fax members of Congress regarding the Omnibus Appropriation bill, which would have made self-defense for Flight Attendants voluntary. Alabama Senator Richard Shelby introduced an amendment, which would have made such training ‘voluntary,’ but withdrew it after getting little support from other members of the Conference Committee. Again, Flight Attendants have made their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

The procedures to allow the company to contribute vacation accrual into your 401K account can be found on the APFA and AA Flight Service Web site or in the FOS Directory. The HotPath in the FOS Directory is HIDIR/FA/CNTC/VAC/401K. The contractual provisions are outlined in Article 6.Q. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these procedures and to ensure that you select the appropriate option that is applicable to you.

American Airlines, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and the Peer Support Group, will be presenting a series of stress management seminars at boston’s logan airport in conjunction with the massachusetts counseling network. these sessions, funded by a federal grant, are designed to address ‘life after 9/11′. our world has changed drastically and yet we’ve got to function day to day. how can we best do that’

The seminars will be presented by licensed psychologists and all american airlines/american eagle employees, wheter active or inactive status, are invited to attend. meetings are in rooms outside security in terminal ‘b’ and are listed below. weekly sessions, covering a variety of topics, are scheduled through may. bring in any drinks and snacks you might enjoy, as well as questions and concerns that a counselor can address. we’re looking forward to seeing you there.

  • Wednesday 2/19 10-11:30 Virgin Atlantic Room ‘ What is Stress’: Physiological effects of stress on the body Stress can affect your body in many different ways. Learn how to recognize signs of stress, identifying the stressors in your life, and how they affect you and the people around you.

  • Wednesday 2/26 10-11:30 Virgin Atlantic Room ‘ Coping with Stress: Stress Reduction and Relaxation Training This session will teach you how to cope with stress, and introduce you to specific stress reduction and relaxation techniques. Learn how to use them at home and in the workplace. You will have the opportunity to practice some of these techniques during the seminar.

 

In Industry News:

The Board of Directors of the Allied Pilots Association Thursday authorized the APA Negotiating Committee to enter into discussions on contractual cost savings with American Airlines. APA along with APFA and the TWU have made it clear any relief provided to the company will be of temporary not permanent nature.

On Monday, Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating for American Airlines and parent company AMR further into junk status. Moody’s sited as the reason for the cut the fact it expects American to suffer continued losses. AMR’s debt secured by aircraft and liquidity ratings were also lowered to its lowest level. Moody’s Vice President Richard Bittenbender said that the company has ‘limited’ financial resources and potential to boost revenue and might be hurt if U.S. military actions or other national security events cause people to travel less.

The Airline Stabilization Board has approved US Airways $900 million federal guarantees for a $1 billion loan for the airline. The approval comes after numerous concessions by the employees of US Airways.

Delta Air Lines on Wednesday that it would approach its Pilots for concessions. ALPA, representing the Pilots at Delta, responded by saying that concession talks with the airline were ‘not appropriate at this time.’ In other news at Delta, ALPA received a favorable decision by the Delta Pilots System Board of Adjustment this week regarding Pilots layoffs. It was determined that Delta laid off some Pilots in 2001 as a result of negative economic conditions rather than ‘force majeure’ related to the events of September 11th. 20 Pilots will be recalled as a result.

Northwest announced this week that it would ask its employees for ‘permanent’ labor cost cuts. Management at that airline said that it expects to meet with labor leaders in the next few weeks to begin talks on restructuring labor agreements. Northwest is reportedly targeting $1 to $1.5 billion in concessions. Sound familiar’

For more information on the airline industry and American specifically, please visit the Aviation Industry News Page of the APFA Web site.

The APFA offices will be closed on Monday, February 17th in observance of President’s Day. An officer on duty will be available to take emergency calls. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate representative or department for response the next business day.

That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest.

Remember, there are 2,396 American Airlines Flight Attendants on presently on furlough.

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