This is John Ward, APFA President, with a hotline message for Friday, October 10.
American Airlines Managers were in Dallas this week for their Fall Management Conference. The Company announced via Jet Net and Jetwire that it had invited representatives from APFA, TWU and APA to attend. I declined the invitation due to the fact that I object to the Company spending money-our money-for such an event. I cannot justify the expense of the Company putting up everyone at a “five star” hotel. I cannot justify the expense of ferrying Super-80s around the system to accommodate managers who might have experienced difficulty getting to Dallas.
For example, for three days this week, American sent Super 80s to Tulsa to pick up Management personnel and deliver them back home the next day. In case they got hungry on that long flight back to Tulsa, the Company catered the aircraft with meals and staffed the flights with four flight attendants! When is the last time you’ve served a meal between DFW and Tulsa? And when’s the last time you’ve ever had an “extra” on a Bistro flight? And finally, we’ve calculated their “layover” between the first and second day’s meetings was about 14 hours and the Company provided a dinner reception for the group after working a whole four hours the first day.
Flagrant missteps such as these are simply confirmation that my instincts in regards to these Management Conferences were correct. If the Company truly expects to turn things around with the “Turnaround Plan”, then it better eliminate the remaining elements of the old way of doing business. “Do as I say and not as I do” isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Please stay on the line for information on the December 2 recall of 390 flight attendants and other news from this week. Thank you for calling.
Hello. Today is Friday, October 10, 2003. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
The APFA and American signed off on a Letter of Agreement this week that will result in the recall of 390 furloughed Flight Attendants. The projected increase in flying between now and the Spring of 2004 has created a demand for additional Flight Attendants. Recall information packets were mailed on October 9 to all Flight Attendants affected by this recall. Forms must be returned to the Company by October 21st. Failure to respond will result in the forfeiture of recall rights. The Company has built in a 10% buffer into the 390 recalls. What this means is that if all 390 Flight Attendants on this recall list do not accept reemployment, they do not plan to offer recall to additional Flight Attendants. Recalled Flight Attendants will be assigned primarily to LGA and possibly to one of the St. Louis bases. The recall packet information along with the recall list has been posted on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
American Airlines has notified the APFA that refunds for pre-funding of retiree health for Flight Attendants furloughed on July 2 are still being processed. J.P. Morgan had hoped to have the refunds distributed by the end of September. Due to high volume, they have fallen behind. The Company has set another goal for the end of October for the distribution of refunds. Flight Attendants who have experienced problems with compensation, passes, etc., should call Employee Assistance at 1-800-555-8810 or Payroll Customer Service at 1-800-447-2000. Furloughed Flight Attendants can also refer to the AAL Furlough Information Packet on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site for more information.
Due to the ongoing conversion of TWA-LLC aircraft to American’s operating certificate, additional Flight Attendants originally forced into STL will be offered the opportunity to return to the bases they were assigned to prior to being forced into STL effective November 5. Twenty-seven (27) Flight Attendants have been offered reinstatement to DFW, 15 to SFO, 23 to LAX, and 10 to MIA. Flight Attendants will have until 0800 Central Time on October 17, 2003, to accept or reject their reinstatement. Preferences must be made through the Flight Service Web site by clicking on “My Base,” then “STL Transfer Reinstatement,” and finally “Info Now.”
The deadline for 2004 Benefits Enrollment is October 31, 2003. Enrollment must be accomplished on-line through Jetnet, which is available 24-hours a day. Flight Attendants are encouraged to thoroughly review the information provided in their enrollment packages and the Medical/Dental Q and A’s on the APFA Web site before enrolling.
Flight Attendants living in certain states should be aware when making elections for the 2004 Benefits Enrollment that they are not eligible for the Short Term Disability option if your state provides benefits for individuals on short term disability which are greater than those provided by the Short Term Disability Plan being offered in the Enrollment Package. If, at any time, the individual becomes a resident of another state that does not offer benefits exceeding those of the STD Plan, they will be eligible to enroll without a statement of health.
Senator Ted Kennedy introduced a bill in the Senate (S.1708) to extend the Temporary Extension of Unemployment Compensation or TUEC Public Law 107-147. This bill would provide a 26-week extension of Unemployment Insurance to individuals who have yet to benefit from the original Temporary Extension of Unemployment Compensation. It would also provide 13 weeks of UI for those who have already exhausted their TEUC. Most states currently provide 26 weeks of Unemployment Insurance then an extension of 13 weeks only. Senator Kennedy’s bill would extend another 13 weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted the original 13-week extension.
The APFA fully supports Senate bill S.1708. We encourage all members to take a moment and call or write their Senators and urge their support of this bill. Contact information for Senators can be found on the Government Affairs Page of the APFA Web site. American has furloughed 6,150 Flight Attendants since October 2001. Many of those furloughed would benefit from the provisions of this bill.
Highlights of the Family and Medical Leave Presidential Grievance Award have been posted on the Health Page and under Hot Topics on the APFA Web site. APFA and the Company are currently working on methodology to collect information from Flight Attendants. Please do not forward any documentation to the APFA or the Company at this time. More information on the FML award will be provided in future issues of Skyword.
Retirement seminars have been scheduled for October 20, 22, and 28 in DFW. Sessions will be held at 1000 and 1400 in the Flight Service Conference Room in Terminal C Operations. Flight Attendants from all bases are welcome to attend.
If you have recently changed your e-mail address and had previously signed up to receive the APFA Hotline automatically via e-mail, you must update your e-mail address through the APFA Web site and re-subscribe. To update your e-mail information, click the “Members Only” icon on the opening page and then “Member Registration.” Complete the field of information and submit. To register to have the hotline e-mailed to you, click on the “hotline” icon at the top of the opening page and then “subscribe.” Complete the field and submit the information.
During the month of October, Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, will be hosting a “Day in Ops” at each base in order to generate additional interest in the InfoRep program and compile a list of Flight Attendants interested in becoming InfoReps. Due to the number of furloughs, retirements, and resignations, that have taken place over the past year, we have lost many of our active InfoReps. The InfoRep Program plays an essential part in delivering information to our line Flight Attendants and dispelling many of the rumors traveling through the system. If you have any questions about the InfoRep Program, or would like information on how to become an InfoRep, please plan to attend these visits. If you are unable to attend you may also contact your Base Chair to sign up.
The following is a list of confirmed dates and times for “InfoRep Day In Ops:”
MIA/IMA October 13 1030-1430
DFW October 15 1130-1530 Terminal A and C
JFK October 16 1000-1230
LGA October 16 1330-1500
BOS October 17 1030-1430
As additional Day In Ops are arranged, we will post dates and times on the Calendar of Events on the web site and include the information on this hotline.
In Industry News:
Morgan Stanley raised its rating for AMR this week. The investment bank said that American “appears to be outperforming the industry in unit revenue improvement.” Analysts say that if the economy continues to improve, AMR could turn a profit in 2004.
Pilots at Delta Airlines will meet with their company on October 17th to restart talks on contract concessions. The talks stalled in July as a result of differences arising from Delta’s request for a 26.5% pay cut and the cancellation of a scheduled 4.5% pay raise for all Pilots in 2004.
Flight Attendants at Delta were notified by their company this week of massive changes to work rules and pay scales. The Company expects to save at least $40 million annual as a result of the changes. APFA is in receipt of these changes, and hopes to make them available to our membership soon.
US Airways has announced it would outsource heavy maintenance of 10 Airbus planes to an Alabama company. The Retirement Systems of Alabama currently owes a 37% stake in US Airways. Mechanics at US Airways have filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent the airline from outsourcing the heavy maintenance.
Please visit the News and Events Page of the APFA Web site for more airline industry news.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information and past edition of the hotline, please visit the web site.