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9.05.03 – (LAA) – Manning Issues, Transfers to STL, FAA Reauthorization Bill

This is John Ward, APFA President. Today is Friday, September 5.

I’d like to bring you up-to-date on the manning situation on Domestic as well as my meetings earlier this week with Management relating to that subject.

First, the manning situation. According to the Company, September manning is much better than August. We take this to mean that the routine rescheduling and reassignment of regularly scheduled flight attendants has stopped. The one exception to this will be in STL where, due to the high sick list, manning continues to be tight. If, during the month of September, you, as a regularly scheduled flight attendant are reassigned, APFA wants to know about it. Please contact either the Scheduling Department at APFA Headquarters at extension #8161 or your Base Chair. We all understand that, at times, reassignments may be required to in order to keep the operation running when the unexpected occurs. The problem we had with it was that a: it was the Company’s own fault that they were short in the first place and that b: the reassignments were becoming the norm rather than the exception.

The other item I wanted to bring everyone up-to-speed on is the discovery by APFA that Flight Service had put out an e-mail to all supervisors on new procedures to follow in the event a flight attendant did not, for whatever reason, make a reassignment. APFA has made very clear its objections to this new policy. The Company has agreed to continue discussing the issue with APFA. In the meantime, if you were given an “RR” code for failing to make a reassigned flight, please contact the Scheduling Department or your Base Chair with all the details.

That’s it for tonight. Please stay on the line for the remainder of this week’s hotline.

Hello. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, September 5, 2003.

Due to the conversion of TWA LLC aircraft to the American Airlines operating certificate, the Company has announced a need for up to 100 Flight Attendants at the AA St. Louis base (SLT) effective October 1, 2003. Flight Attendants who transfer to SLT will only fly American Airlines aircraft. If you wish to transfer to SLT, You must indicate your preferences by following the instructions in HIDIR/FA/TFR. To view a list of your current preferences, type 3* in your DECS personal mode. All standing transfer requests to SLT were purged by the Company on September 4, 2003. If you were previously requesting a transfer to SLT, you must re-enter your preference. Be sure to correctly note your preferences as SLT and not STL as there are currently no openings at the STL base. Please be advised that once a transfer has been granted to the SLT base, the Company has indicated that it will exercise its right under Article 12.D.1 to deny a Flight Attendant’s option of rescinding this transfer. This is due to base staffing issues.

The Company also announced, as a result of the continued conversion of TWA LLC aircraft, effective October 6, 2003, it anticipates a need to move Flight Attendants from the TWA LLC operation to the American Airlines operation. There will be vacancies in SFO, DCA and MIA. In accordance with Article 16. D. 3. of the Contract, a Flight Attendant assigned to STL from a base where a surplus of Flight Attendants existed shall have reinstatement rights to his/her former base prior to the filling of vacancies at the former base under the provisions of Article 12.

The Company will be extending reinstatement rights of up to 30 Flight Attendants, in seniority order who were involuntarily transferred to STL from the following bases:

SFO – Up to 10 F/A’s
DCA – Up to 10 F/A’s
MIA – Up to 10 F/A’s

All Flight Attendants who were involuntarily transferred to STL from SFO, DCA or MIA must provide the Company with a YES/NO response to the offer of reinstatement. Affected Flight Attendants may log in their preference through the Flight Service Web site. Click on the STL Base Page under “My Base.” Then, click on the “STL Transfer Reinstatement’ link under “Info Now” and follow the instructions. Under Article 16.D.3.b, if the award reaches your seniority and you have rejected reinstatement rights to your former base or fail to respond, you will relinquish all reinstatement rights to that base. Failure to respond to the Company will be considered rejection of reinstatement rights. All requests must be received no later than, 0800 CDT on September 11, 2003.

Please note that if your seniority cannot hold this reinstatement request to your former base, you may still transfer to the new SLT base and by doing so will not forfeit your reinstatement rights.

Also from the Contract Department: Flight Attendants who attended STL training in the month of June will not receive TAFB. Please refer to Article 4 3. P, of the Contract. You will receive a stipend of $11.00 per day for each day(s) of training and travel days and training pay as provided in accordance with Article 3.H of the Contract, which is $9.50 per hour.

The FAA Reauthorization Bill, which contains provisions for Flight Attendant certification, came out of conference with several problems. Changes to language in the Flight Attendant security training provision waters down TSA’s ability to design the program. APFA has strongly urged Members of the House and Senate to oppose this bill and send it back to conference to change this language.

The FAA bill also had last minute changes that would allow the privatization of 69 air traffic control towers. The threat of private operators cutting corners by hiring inexperienced controllers is not in the best interest of the traveling public. Another last minute change that would allow foreign air cargo carriers to service the U. S. domestic market. This could open the door for the policy to be extended to foreign passenger carriers.

Please take a moment to contact your Senators and Representative in Congress and urge them to oppose the FAA Reauthorization Bill and send it back to conference to strengthen language for Flight Attendant security training, restrict privatization of the air traffic control system, and eliminate the language provisions of this bill. Contact information for each member of Congress can be found on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site. Members can also use Capwiz to send e-mails directly to their members of Congress.

Questions and Answers regarding the new health plan for Flight Attendants has been posted on the opening page of the APFA Web site. Members are encouraged to access this information in order to become even more familiar with the changes to our plan prior to the enrollment period this fall.

From the Scheduling Desk: The Scheduling Department continues to receive calls asking what constitutes “first party contact” with regard to reassignment/reschedules. First party contact by the Company includes contact by telephone, ACARS, or American Airlines personnel.

The APFA Hotel Department is pleased to announce that the Company has renewed the contract with our current long layover hotel in New York City. This was due in large part to member’s feedback and the work of the APFA Hotel Committee.

From the Dues Department: If you have elected to suspend dues checkoff and are paying your dues monthly via check or credit card, please be advised that you must pay the full amount of the monthly dues in order to remain dues current. Dues accrued on an active status that are not paid in full will subject you to Article 31 proceeding, which can result in your termination from American Airlines. Per Article 31 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APFA and American Airlines, payment of dues and/or fees is a condition of employment with American.

Furloughed Flight Attendants in the DFW area should be aware that a career conference will be held on September 16, 2003, from 1000-1500 at the Ruthe Jackson Center located at 3113 S. Carrier Parkway in Grand Prairie, Texas. Organizers of this event encourage participants to bring their updated resumes. For more information on the conference, please visit the APFA Web site Calendar of Events and the Furlough Page.

The latest edition of Skyword has been mailed to all Flight Attendants and is now available on-line on the APFA Web site.

Over the next two weeks, there will be several special elections held around the country. APFA encourages all members to vote. Remember, many states provide the opportunity to vote early or absentee ballot. If you have recently moved, please remember to update your voters registration. APFA has provided a site to assist you with this on the Government Affairs page of the web site. You can also contact your local Registrar’s Office for assistance.

Next Thursday will mark the second anniversary of the attacks, which took thirteen of our members and four of our colleagues at APA. APFA will remember those lost with the laying of a wreath at the memorial on the West side of the APFA Building at 1000 Central Daylight Time and a moment of silence. All APFA members are welcome to attend.

In Industry News:

American announced August traffic results this week. Although traffic fell by 1.7%, the load factor rose to 79.5% from 75.6% a year ago. This was on a capacity decrease of 6.5%. The domestic load factor for the month rose 4.6 points and international rose 2 points.

Delta will recall 250 Pilots it furloughed under “force Majeur” provisions of the Pilot’s contract at the beginning of the war with Iraq. The first 45 Pilots will rejoin the Delta workforce on October 1, 2003 with the remaining furloughed Pilots returning by the end of the year.

World Airways Flight Attendants ratified a new contract this week. Although the agreement is said to provide pay raises for the Flight Attendants as well as some provisions requested by the company, no details of the agreement were released.

For daily news on the airline industry, visit the “News and Events” page of the APFA Web site.

That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information and past editions of the hotline, please visit the web site.

There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough. Thanks for calling.

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