Hello. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 16, 2004.
Have you voted yet? The APFA National Ballot Committee would like to remind all APFA members that ballots for APFA National Officers are due by 0900 Central Time on January 29, 2004. When completing your ballot, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Ballots must be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service in order to be considered valid. Please note that all furloughed flight attendants are eligible to vote. If you have not already received your ballot, or if you have questions regarding the election process, you should contact the APFA National Ballot Committee at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8311.
The SAN Satellite Base will become a reality with the contractual month of February 2004. There will be approximately 50 bid positions included on the February LAX domestic bidsheet that consist of trips that originate and terminate in SAN. Additional information on the new SAN Satellite Base including open time trips, trip trades, relief selections, low bid lines, and responsibilities of the Flight Attendants electing to fly from the SAN Satellite base has been posted on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
On January 28-29, American Airlines will hold a meeting with representatives of the various work groups to discuss its customer-service ideas. The Company will meet with employees prior to finalizing their plans.
The week of January 19th, American will distribute to all employees a package of financial information. This package, which contains a detailed overview of the Airlines’ financial position, will be placed in all Flight Attendant mailboxes. The same information will also be posted on the APFA Web site in order for furloughed Flight Attendants to view it.
Flight Attendants and other AMR employees furloughed in July 2003 unfortunately do not qualify for the existing 26-week extension of Unemployment Insurance for airline workers provided by Congress. There are currently three bills before Congress that would extend UI benefits for laid off workers. These are Senate bill S.1708 and House bill H.R. 1652 and 3270. APFA President John Ward sent a letter to key members of Congress this week urging them to support these bills during the upcoming session. This letter has been posted on the APFA Web site. APFA members, whether active or furloughed, are encouraged to take a moment to write their members in Congress to urge support of these bills. Under provisions of these bills, needed funds would be provided to furloughed Flight Attendants so that they can continue to provide for their families during their search for jobs. Members can send e-mails in support of these bills by going to the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site and then clicking “Capwiz,” which is APFA’s Internet legislative service. Click on the bill number and then “Take Action Now” and follow the directions to send your e-mail asking for the support of your Representative and Senators.
In Rumor Control: Recent reports that American may be interested in key US Airways assets are, at this point, nothing but speculation. US Airways has made no final decision on the sale of any of its assets, and American has made no commitments.
Also in Rumor Control: American and APA have entered into discussions aimed at negotiating an agreement that would allow Pilots to fly “super longhaul flights.” An example of such flights would be Chicago-Hong Kong, which American has said on numerous occasions that it would like to inaugurate once it had crew work rules in place for this type of flying. APFA agreed to “extended long-range flying” work rules in the 2001 Contract, which can be found in Article I.7. American has not announced any formal plans to begin additional flying in Asia.
As a clarification, Flight Attendants are no longer required to contact their Flight Service Manager to request a Family and Medical Leave. You must now submit this request through the Flight Service Web site at www.aaflightservice.com. Just click on “Resources” on the far left side, then “Medical” and the link pertaining to your individual need. Please remember, you must still obtain the FMLA Application forms through Jetnet, which consist of the Employee Information Letter and FMLA Certification Forms and fax the completed forms to AA Medical at 817-931-7584. Please be sure to keep a copy of all correspondence and verification of fax transmission of all documents. Due to the current volume of calls, Flight Attendants may have to make several attempts to reach AA Medical.
AMR American Eagle has informed the APFA that they have recently revised their height requirement for Flight Attendants. Applicants must now be between 5’0″ and 5’11” tall. Due to the fact that Eagle Recruitment is updating their on-line application process, American Airlines furloughed Flight Attendants interested in applying with AMR American Eagle should call 817-931-0319. Completed applications should be sent via fax to 817-963-2004. If you are furloughed from American, you should make note of that fact on your application. Remember, furloughed American Airlines Flight Attendants hired by AMR American Eagle will retain their contractual five-year recall rights.
APFA encourages all members get the facts through calling this hotline, visiting the APFA Web site, reading Skyword, reviewing the APFA Constitution and Policy Manual, or calling an APFA Representative. Always question the source of information you feel is questionable. APFA has added a rumor control page to the web site to help provide factual information and deal with misinformation. If you have information that you want addressed on the Rumor Control page, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. A new installment of Rumor Control was posted on Tuesday, January 13th.
The APFA Membership Department reminds all Flight Attendants to keep your personal contact information updated with the APFA. This includes your e-mail address. Please send all changes to the APFA Membership Department via e-mail at Membership@apfa.org. You can also complete the Change of Address Form in the center section of Skyword and drop it any APFA Lockbox.
Due to a glitch in the APFA Web site, the special LAX base meeting on the SAN Satellite Base was posted incorrectly on the Calendar of Events and the LAX base page. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Flight Attendants from American and United will sponsor “The Heart Ball” on Valentine’s Day in New York City. The proceeds from this event will be equally divided between WINGS and C.A.U.S.E. More information regarding The Heart Ball can be found under “February 14th” on the APFA Calendar of Events on the APFA Web site.
In Industry News:
American announced this week that it would begin service between Boston and Manchester, England on May 15th using Boeing 757s. The new service will be seasonal and is scheduled to end on October 31, 2004.
United announced this week that it will ask retired employees formerly on U.S. payroll to bare a greater share of the cost of providing retiree health benefits. The airline said that this move is necessary to help the company successfully emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nearly 2,500 Flight Attendants retired prior to July 2003. AFA says that they were promised that they would be protected from additional costs related to healthcare.
On Thursday, AFA, representing Flight Attendants at US Airways, announced an arbitrator has ruled that US Airways must proffer voluntary furloughs prior to involuntarily furloughing any Flight Attendant. AFA had filed a lawsuit to prevent the airline from involuntarily furloughing 552 Flight Attendants prior to offering voluntary furloughs, which would have violated provisions of their contract. AFA and US Airways agreed to expedited arbitration to resolve the dispute.
Pilots at Mesaba reached a tentative agreement with their company early Sunday morning averting a strike. The new agreement includes higher wages and improved work rules. The agreement now goes to the pilots for ratification.
For more industry news, visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Monday, January 19, 2004 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. An officer on duty will be available to handle emergency calls. If you have an emergency during this time, please call APFA Headquarters and follow the voice prompts carefully. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate representative or department, and will be handled the next business day.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest news, past editions of the hotline, and rumor control, visit the web site.
There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
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