This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 25, 2003.
APFA has been notified by the Company that the order of open time in most bases continues to be at steps 7, 8, and 9, which can be found in Article 9.L, page 118, and Article I.9.L, pages 481-482, of the contract. The sick list for the system has been unusually high and reserve coverage is poor. Flight Attendants who fall into one of the following categories should be aware of the manning issues at this time: Step 7-Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants at the base in reverse order of seniority provided, however, there is no conflict with his/her scheduled duty-free period. Step 8-Reserve Flight Attendants on a scheduled duty-free period Step 9-Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants on a duty-free period, in reverse order of seniority.
In addition, crew schedule has notified APFA that it will, in accordance with Article 9.C.4.D and I.9.C.4.D, begin pre-plotting Replacement Flight Attendants for the balance of the month of July. This will not preclude Replacement Flight Attendants from pre-plotting themselves.
As was previously reported, the APFA received the arbitrator’s award for the Presidential Grievance filed on the changes that the Company unilaterally made to the Family and Medical Leave Policy in October of 2001. The Union and the Company are scheduled to meet each week in August to work out the details required by the award. Until this process is complete and the agreed upon changes are implemented, we will remain at status quo with regards to the Family Leave Policy. Under the terms of this award, the System Board will monitor the progress of the parties and retain jurisdiction over the issues and the final outcome, should the parties be unable to agree. A report to the arbitrator is due at the end of the month. As more information becomes available, we will update this hotline and the web site.
The APFA recently announced that the APFA and American have reached agreement outside of an arbitration on the changes to the 2004 medical benefits plan as required by Appendix K of the Restructuring Agreement. The entire text of the special July 22 Hotline can be found on the APFA Web site under “Hotline” and then “Past Editions.” A “Questions and Answer” page on this agreement will be posted on the APFA Web site next week.
Recently, the APFA reached a settlement with American on the Presidential Grievance on Article 11 as it pertains to speaker qualifications and assessment. A new “Questions and Answers” page on the settlement has been added to the opening page of the APFA Web site. We encourage all language qualified Flight Attendants to visit this page and review the questions and answers.
Flight Attendants furloughed on July 2, 2003, continue to have problems with unemployment claims in various states. It is APFA’s understanding that the company American contracted to file the necessary forms had until July 21st to file such documentation. According to the Company, all deadlines were met. If you are one of those who have had problems with unemployment claims, you may want to either re-file your claim or file an appeal based on the fact the required information has now been filed with the states. If you are provided a copy of your total wages reported by American and you do not agree with the figure, you can file an appeal with your state’s unemployment office. You will need a copy of all of your pay stubs in the “qualified period.”
Questions on final paychecks, vacations, etc., should be directed to Payroll Customer Service at 1-800-447-2000.
As a reminder to all Flight Attendants furloughed on July 2, 2003, you must turn in all required Company equipment. American will not activate travel benefits for thirty days after receiving required items if they were received after the seven-day period following the July 2, 2003 date of furlough. Flight Attendants may turn their required items in at the base city nearest them.
If you are a furloughed Flight Attendant, we encourage you to visit the APFA Web site “Furlough Page” for updated resources and job opportunities. This site is updated daily. New job opportunities and links to various companies have been added. Some of the job opportunities are time sensitive.
Due to the number of furloughs, many Flight Attendants are finding themselves back on reserve after being off for some time. In an effort to familiarize those Flight Attendants serving reserve again with the changes in the reserve system, we have added a page on the web site under “Hot Topics” called “Reserve information.” Please visit this page for updated information on reserve.
It has brought to the APFA’s attention that web sites have been set up that are disseminating anti-APFA information and soliciting funds from APFA members. Some of these sites have very similar web addresses as the official APFA Web site. Be there no mistake, the APFA does not endorse, condone, or sponsor any such sites.
Questions continue to come into the APFA regarding the stock option plan. American will mail each eligible Flight Attendant an information packet on the stock option plan in mid-August. Flight Attendants on an approved leave or on active status as of April 17, 2003 are eligible. The stock allotment for Flight Attendants will be divided equally among those eligible, which equates to 292 shares each at a strike price of $5.00 per share. Additional information can be found on the APFA Web site under “Hot Topics” and the “APFA/AAL Restructuring Agreement.”
The APFA Board of Directors will meet in DFW on Monday, July 28, 2003, at the Radisson Hotel South of DFW Airport. The meeting will begin at 1000. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the APFA budget.
In rumor control:
Although the pre-vacation 48s were eliminated as part of the Restructuring Agreement, Flight Attendants are still removed from and paid for all days of any trip that touches their assigned vacation period.
As part of their Restructuring Agreement, the Allied Pilots Association and American reached agreement on the outstanding $26 million balance of a fine imposed on the union by a Dallas judge. Contrary to information posted on web sites not affiliated with either the APFA or APA, APFA did not fund the $26 million payoff of the APA fine through our Restructuring Agreement or the recent vote of Option 2 in place of Underfly.
In a filing with the SEC, American outlined the annual executive stock performance plan. CEO Gerard Arpey declined stock options as did Chairman Edward Brennen.
In Industry News:
On Wednesday, U.S. Congressional Auditors classified the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation or PBGC, the agency that bails out failing company pension plans, as “high risk.” The PBGC is the agency that would have guaranteed the American Airlines Flight Attendant pension plan if we had gone into bankruptcy. According to the Department of Labor, the agency is able to meet its immediate obligations. The underfunding of so many private pension funds has sparked concerns. Both Congress and the White House are now looking into some type of reforms. APFA will continue monitoring this situation closely.
Pilots at Delta walked away from negotiations with their company aimed at reaching a concession deal. The Pilots, represented by ALPA, said the company’s proposals were unacceptable, but that they would be willing to meet again at any time. To date, no other work group at Delta has taken concessions.
Flight Attendants at Air Tran this week rejected a tentative contract agreement with their airline. Union officials said that AFA and Air Tran would meet again to negotiate an agreement that would better address the concerns of the Flight Attendants.
It seems some airlines have laid off too many reservations agents. Due to the rise in demand for air travel, US Airways, Delta, and United are recalling some 1,300 reservations agents laid off after September 11, 2001.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site for the latest news and past editions of the hotline.
There are currently 6, 150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.