Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, August 22, 2003.
The APFA Scheduling Department has received continuous updates from crew schedule on the status of manning around the system. As of this recording, we are no longer at step 9 in the order of open time at any base. However, this situation is very fluid. Flight Attendants are encouraged to become familiar with the order of open time language in Article 9.L, pages 118-119, and Appendix I.9.L, pages 481-482, of the contract. APFA will continue to update you on the status of manning through the hotline and the web site. For more useful information on scheduling issues, please visit the Scheduling Page of the APFA Web site.
Also from the Scheduling Desk: The language defining the layover rest period in Art.7.L.2. and Appendix.I. Art.7.N.1&2 of the Restructuring Agreement mimics Federal Air Regulations or FARs almost word for word For duty periods scheduled 14 hours or less, it requires a minimum layover rest period of 9 hours free of duty or you may have a minimum 8 hours free of duty if you have compensatory rest of at least 10 hours, which must begin no later than 24 hours after the beginning of the reduced rest period. Remember, free from duty is the period from the end of your debrief period after arrival to sign-in.
On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, APFA President John Ward along with representatives from the APFA Scheduling and Safety Department met with VP of Flight Service, Lauri Curtis and other members of management to discuss the issue of reduced rest. Although the Company has addressed some of our concerns on specific international layovers, conditions which can and do interfere with a Flight Attendant’s ability to effectively perform FAA mandated safety and security duties remain on many domestic and international layovers and have yet to be addressed to our satisfaction. APFA representatives will meet again with the Company to further discuss the issues related to reduce rest in an effort to reach an acceptable resolution. John Ward will work a domestic trip out of DFW next week that contains scheduled reduced rest in order to experience firsthand the effects of reduced rest.
APFA will continue to work on the issue of reduced rest on several levels. The APFA Safety Department is asking that Flight Attendants send copies of their HI3s showing reduced rest and/or pushed departure times to accommodate Flight Attendant minimum rest and detailed descriptions of problems with transportation or layover hotel check-in that further reduced rest times to the APFA Safety Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, Texas 76040.
It has been brought to the attention of the APFA that several virus-laden e-mails are currently circulating. Among the viruses attached to these e-mails are the So Big-F, Worm, and Blaster. If you have not updated the virus protection software on your personal computer, the APFA encourages you to do so. We have provided information on these new computer viruses and how to protect your computer against them on the APFA Web site under “Resource Center” then “APFA Information, Services and Resources.” Please be advised that the APFA has a series of protections built into our headquarter computer system. Viruses cannot enter the system, thus they cannot originate from within APFA Headquarters.
Flight Attendants will soon be receiving further details of the stock option plan. On May 29, 2003, the APFA Board of Directors determined that the allotment of stock for Flight Attendants would be divided equally among those Flight Attendants active or on an approved leave as of April 17, 2003. Since fractions of stock options cannot be issued, there were just over 16,000 shares outstanding. These shares will be distributed to Flight Attendants in seniority order. Therefore, depending on seniority, Flight Attendants will receive either 293 or 292 stock options.
Attention all 777 qualified Flight Attendants: If you have sustained an injury as a result of the overhead bins or First Class Suite tray tables, the APFA would like to hear from you. We have posted a survey on the APFA Web site, which can be found on the Safety, Health, and all base pages. If you have had an injury that was caused by the bins or tray tables, please take a moment to complete the survey.
As was reported on the APFA Hotline, the APFA SBA Department is working with the Company in an effort to resolve outstanding issues associated with the FMLA Presidential Grievance Award. Until those issues have been settled, the FML Policy remains status quo. The APFA SBA Department asks that you not send information regarding your particular situation as it pertains to FML until it has been requested. Once resolutions of all issues has been accomplished, we will let you know what information we will need, when we will need it, and exactly who to send it to.
The Company has informed the APFA that prefunding rates for all employees at American who prefund will increase by 24 cents per month in 2004. Any annual increase in such premiums for Flight Attendants is contractually capped at a maximum of $1 per month.
From the Contract Desk: If you have been inactive for more than 365 days, you must be fingerprinted again. If your prints cannot be read digitally, you must submit to the ink and roll method. Since this is a lengthier process, plan accordingly.
The APFA Safety Department would like to again remind Flight Attendants to check the SSI Web site accessible through the Flight Service Web site for the very latest safety and security information. This site is updated frequently.
American has entered into agreement with Adecco, monster.com, and Horizon Computer Learning Centers to provide furloughed employees with a number of new resources to help with job training and placement. Adecco, a company offering employment services, is now set up on site in DFW at AMR Headquarters, in STL at the TWA-LLC Training Center, and soon in Chicago. Employees affected by the reduction in force are invited to go to any Adecco locations nationwide to take advantage of this service. It is at no cost to the employee. Adecco can assist with the creation and distribution of resumes to employers throughout the country. APFA representatives met with Adecco representatives this week. They were fully educated on all of the services offered by the company. American is also working with Horizon Computer Training Centers to offer active and furloughed employees the opportunity to update their computer skills. This service is offered at a deep discount to the employee. In some cases, funds are available through the various states to pay for this service if the employee has been laid off. Finally, Monster.com has also been enlisted to assist those who have been furloughed. Monster will assist with the distribution of resumes through a special section of their web site and works in cooperation with Adecco. APFA encourages all Flight Attendants who have been furloughed since October of 2001 to utilize these services. For more information, please go to www.aacareers.com.
The Company has informed the APFA that Flight Attendants furloughed in May can expect their pre-funding of retiree healthcare premiums by the end of next week. Due to the fact JP Morgan is behind in processing the refunds, those furloughed July 2, 2003, should expect their refunds at the end of September.
As was reported on the August 1, 2003 APFA Hotline, the APFA Board met on July 28-29, 2003 to make adjustments to the APFA Budget. As part of the cost cutting measures taken by the Board, it was decided that the APFA Headquarter office hours would be reduced. This will help cut costs associated with staff overtime, in-house reps, and utilities. Effective September 1, 2003, the new APFA Headquarter office hours will be 0900 to 1700 Central Time Monday through Friday. The “Officer On Duty” will be available to take emergency calls after hours, weekends, and holidays. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate department or representative the next business day. Please make note of the new office hours. For more information on actions taken by the Board of Directors during this meeting, please visit the “Resource Center” on the APFA Web site.
The Institute for Work, Health, and Organizations in collaboration with the World Health Organization is conducting a survey of airline cabin crews worldwide on work-related stress. APFA members have been asked to participate in this important survey. To access the survey, go to www.airlineworkstress.com. You can also find this link on the APFA Web site under “Hot Topics.”
In Industry News:
The U.S. Department of Labor this week granted Northwest Airlines permissions to contribute stock from Pinnacle, a subsidiary of the airline, to its under-funded pension plans. This will allow Northwest to completely satisfy its $223 million payment funding requirement this year.
Northwest Mechanics, represented by AMFA, and Northwest plan to jointly request mediation in their contract talks. The contract between Northwest and AMFA allows for the filing for mediation if no agreement is reached within six months of the amendable date of the contract.
Industry analysts Blaylock and Partners said this week it anticipated third-quarter earnings for airlines to drop between 5 and 10 cents a share as a result of losses incurred as a result the Northeast power outage. Airlines cancelled nearly 2,000 flights in a two-day period due to the outage.
For more industry news, visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information and past editions of the hotline.
There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.