This is APFA President John Ward with the APFA hotline for Friday, March 07.
Members of the APFA Negotiating Committee, along with the APFA National Officers, National Scheduling Coordinator, National Contract Coordinator, and legal advisors met again this week with American Airlines Management to continue our discussions relating to the Company’s current financial crisis. This week’s meetings focused on reviewing the Company’s costing data as it relates to the various provisions of our contract.
As you know, the Company has stated that unless it can obtain $1.8 billion in annual labor concessions, including $340 million from APFA, it will be forced to declare bankruptcy. APFA has reason to believe that the timing for an AMR bankruptcy may be sooner rather than later.
Since APFA believes that the best interests of our membership will be served by doing everything possible on our part to avoid a Chapter 11 filing by AMR, APFA will continue to meet with Management in the coming weeks with the expectation of reaching an agreement on a relief package that will be sent to the membership for consideration. This certainly is not a position we would choose to be in, however, the situation is what it is and an AMR bankruptcy filing would only make this difficult situation worse.
APFA has continued to ask all the right questions. What is Management intending to do with respect to its own pay? Although Management has stated that it too will share the sacrifice and feel the pain, there is no indication that it intends to lead by example. Will Senior Management continue to provide for itself all the perks it has become used to? Unfortunately we are not in a position to wait for them to do the right thing. It’s likely Management will continue to sit back and expect labor to shoulder the burden. We must, however, move quickly to protect our contract from a bankruptcy judge and AMR’s creditors.
The APFA Board of Directors began its Annual Convention today and is scheduled to be in session through Tuesday, March 11. In addition to an already full agenda, which includes the election of an Ad Hoc Member of the APFA Executive Committee and review and approval of the annual budget, the Board will be providing input to the Negotiating Committee on the direction for future talks with Management.
Please continue to call this hotline and visit the APFA web site for the latest information. I know this is a very stressful time for all of us. Please know that your APFA leadership will continue to act with your best interests in mind. Don’t allow the second-guessing and rumors, both externally and from within, cause us to lose our focus of best protecting the pay, working conditions and benefits of the hardworking APFA flight attendants.
Thank you for calling. Please stay on the line for the remainder of this week’s message.
Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator. This is the APFA Hotline for Friday, March 7, 2003.
The annual APFA Board of Directors Convention convened today at 12:00 p.m. at the Hilton DFW Lakes Hotel located at 1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas. The convention will run through Tuesday, March 11th. All APFA members in good standing are welcomed and encouraged to attend all open portions of the meeting.
The Overage Leave and Partnership Flying proffer for the STL base closed on March 3 at 0800 Central Time. There were 51 Overage Leaves awarded. There were 10 Partnerships awarded, which were extensions of existing partnerships. The company will furlough 355 STL Flight Attendants on April 1 and 275 on May 1. The number of furloughs that will be effective May 1 was reduced by 120 Flight Attendants. As a reminder, APFA has filed a Presidential Grievance on the Company’s application of Article 16-Leave in lieu of layoff on this April 1 proffer. We do want to remind all Flight Attendants in the STL area affected by reduction in force that the Missouri Division of Workforce Development will be conducting Rapid Response meetings at the TWA-LLC Training Center on March 11th, 19th, and 27th. The meetings will convene at 1000 and 1400 each day, and are designed to provide information on unemployment insurance benefits, labor market information and services available to dislocated workers. For more information on the Rapid Response Meetings, please visit the APFA Web site “STL Base” and “Reduction in Force” pages. Interested Flight Attendants may also call the Division of Workforce Development at 1-800-877-8698.
APFA has reached agreement with the Company regarding guarantee protection for reserves that missed trips as a result of a declared Transportation Emergency due to severe weather on the East Coast in February. This includes reserves at the bases of JFK, LGA, BOS, BOSI, DCA, and DCAI. Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants who missed trips will be given an XX non-chargeable code for each trip missed during the transportation emergency. Unfortunately, the Company is not willing to protect the guarantees of non-reserves in this situation. PO’s or Personal Off’s and RL’s or Report Late’s that occurred as a result of this Transportation Emergency will not be chargeable.
Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants who missed trips on the 25th and 26th due to weather in Dallas/Fort Worth will be given an XX code, which will not be chargeable. PO’s or Personal Off’s taken on the 25th or 26th and RL’s or Report Late will not be chargeable. As the weather event in DFW on February 25-26 was not designated a “transportation emergency,” the Company will not protect guarantees for regularly scheduled or reserve Flight Attendants. Reserves who missed a trip on February 25 or 26th may use PVDs for trips missed in order to protect their guarantee. Other situations resulting from the severe weather will be reviewed on an individual basis.
The IOR Chair and Vice Chair balloting has been extended one week until 0900 March 18, 2003, due to a United States postal delivery delay. The deadline for the BOSI, LAX, IDF Chair and Vice Chair and IMA Vice Chair ballots remains the same, which is 0900 Central Time March 11. The ballots will be counted at the DFW Hilton Lakes Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. Once the APFA National Ballot Committee has certified the results, they will be included on a special APFA Hotline and on the web site.
It has come to the attention of the APFA that several unofficial letters are floating around the system regarding the current state of affairs at American and the issue of bankruptcy. These are not official APFA publications and should not be consider as such. There are also unofficial web sites that have sprung up that are not sanctioned or in any way endorsed by the APFA. APFA will shortly be sending out to all Flight Attendants via First Class U.S. Mail information on what APFA has done and will be doing in the near term and the potential effects of bankruptcy on our pensions. Please be watching for these official APFA publications, visit the APFA Web site and call the hotline for official APFA news and information.
Jane Allen announced in her March 4, 2003 update that American has decided to accelerate the standardization of the TWA 757 fleet. The company will return 11 757s to lessors as the aircraft leasing expire between December 2003 and August 2004. The remaining 16 757s that have leases through 2007 and 2008 will be standardized and brought under the American operating certificate beginning in July 2003 at a rate of two or three per month. Ms. Allen explained that the company’s plan to standardize the Boeing 757 fleet will eliminate costs associated with maintaining separate operating certificates, maintenance programs, training programs, employee groups, and various manuals. Ms. Allen went on to say that the company is unclear the impact this latest decision will have on Flight Attendant manning requirements.
The Coalition of Unions at AMR are planning a nationwide event to urge Congress to provide relief to the ailing airline industry in the way of reduced taxes, fees, and costs associated with enhanced security measures. Members of the APFA, APA, and TWU will be handing out information to the flying public at most airports during this event in order to heighten awareness for the need for governmental relief. A complete list of airports involved in the petitioning, times, meeting locations and individual base organizer’s contact information can be found on the APFA Web site under “Hot Topics.” A copy of the information to be distributed can also be found on this page. APFA members are encouraged to participate in this event.
The APFA Safety Department has been informed that FAA Cabin Safety Inspections will be stepped up at American. This often occurs when a carrier is perceived as having financial difficulties. Flight Attendants are reminded that we are required to carry with us at all times a working flashlight, cockpit and jetbridge keys, and an up-to-date In-Flight Manual.
Retirement seminars will be held at DFW on March 12th, 20th, and 27th in the Yandry Suite across from gate C2. The seminars are scheduled to begin at 0930, 1300, and 1600.
The TWA MD80 differences packet must be completed and SPC code 51 entered into Flight Attendant’s personal mode by March 10th. To enter the code, go into your personal mode and type in HI22/51.
Primary vacation awards should be posted on March 15th. Secondary vacation bidding will open on March 16th at 0001 Central Time and close on March 23rd at 0001 Central Time. Secondary vacation awards should be posted on March 31st at 0001 Central Time.
Part-time and Planned Leave of Absence proffer results are now available. Flight Attendants can access this information in HIDIR by typing in HIDIR/FA/LOA/Base.
In Industry News:
The Transport Workers Union representing ground and airport workers at American rejected the company’s concession proposal early this week. James Little, Director of the Air Transport Division of the TWU, said, “the company asserted in their proposal that our advisors and consultants have concluded that the company requires the $620 million relief.” Little continued by saying, “Our consultants and advisors have concluded that the company does need relief, but have not yet confirmed the specific amount.” Despite this initial setback, talks between American and the TWU are expected to continue.
American announced February traffic results this week. The systemwide load factor rose 1.2% to 68.8%. This is the actual percentage of seats filled. The systemwide traffic for February rose .4% from the same time a year ago on a capacity decrease of 1.3%. International traffic was up 5.8% while domestic traffic was down 1.6% from February 2002. American has an on-time arrival rate in January of 86.3%, which were the third best results among the majors.
The Department of Transportation this week fined American $1.2 million to settle allegations it mistreated disabled passengers. The DOT Aviation Enforcement Office said that American did not provide proper wheelchair assistance to those who required it. The fine itself may be used by American to improve overall services for disabled passengers.
A new ruling by the IRS will allow 3.9 million UAL shares of common stock owned by United employees to be sold. This may signal the end to employee ownership of the airline. Currently the employees own 55% of the company. This could be reduced by as much as 20% by the sale of this block of stock.
United announced on Thursday it would furlough up to 900 Flight Attendants in April. The airline will first offer voluntary furloughs in an effort to mitigate layoffs.
For additional information on the airline industry and American specifically, please visit the Airline Industry News page on the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information, please visit the web site. Remember, you can have the APFA Hotline automatically e-mailed to you. Follow the directions on the “Hotline” page of the APFA Web site.
Please keep in mind there are 2,396 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.