2.13.04 – (LAA) – Self Defense Training, Primary Vacation Bidding, Bidding for Personal Leave of Absence

Hello. Today is Friday, February 13th, 2004. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline.

You may remember World Black Belt, the organization that offered their services to provide self-defense classes to crewmembers following the events of September 11th, 2001. Thanks to the continuing efforts of our APFA Representatives, they’re back! “America In Defense” is a four-hour complimentary refresher course in self-defense provided by World Black Belt. If you would like to participate in one of these classes please go to www.worldblackbelt.com and click on the AID banner on the lower left corner to view the updated schedule of classes. They offer a variety of locations nationwide and will continue to update their web site with new locations. Reservations are a must. They will send you a confirmation e-mail once you have registered and another follow-up e-mail a week to 10 days prior to the class. You must register on the World Black Belt web site, however, if you would like to preview the locations, you can do so by going to the Safety Department page of the APFA web site. APFA strongly encourages every member to attend this refresher. American Airlines self-protection training for 2004 pales in comparison to World Black Belt’s program. This is a great opportunity to do for ourselves what Congress and the carrier unfortunately did not.

Reduced rest layovers are still an issue, and we still need to hear from you. Please help us gather documentation by completing the survey regarding workplace fatigue posted on the APFA Web site. The survey, which is being conducted by the University of Denver in cooperation with the APFA, will allow us to compare the fatigue level of Flight Attendants with other work groups governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The information collected will also be useful to the APFA when speaking with the FAA about reduced layover rest. Please take a moment to complete this survey AND the Reduced Rest Layover Survey, which can be found on the opening page of the APFA web site at www.www.apfa.org. I know it seems like a slow process, but I assure you, your APFA Representatives are continuingly working on this issue.

Per the APFA Constitution, Article VI Section 5.H., in a balloting for National Officer, a candidate must receive a majority (at least 50% + 1) of the votes to be deemed elected for that Office. Since no one candidate for any Office received that amount, there will be a run off between the two candidates for each National Officer position that received the highest number of votes. Ballots for the APFA National Officer run off election were mailed to all members on February 9, 2004. They are due in the post office box no later than 0900 Central Time on March 10, 2004. If you have recently moved, please ensure that your address is current with the APFA Membership Department. They can be contacted by e-mail at membership@apfa.org or by phone at 1-800-395-2732, Extension 8153. The National Ballot Committee would like to stress the importance of following the ballot instructions carefully when completing your ballot. Please be sure to use a #2 pencil when marking your ballot. Use of other writing utensils to mark your ballot creates a delay in the ballot counting process. In the initial APFA National Officer election, only 50 percent of the eligible members actually cast ballots. Over 1,400 of the ballots cast arrived in the post office box after the ballot deadline. Be sure to exercise your right to vote.

The Hotel Department has completed their review of the long layover hotel in Rome and Paris. The hotel recommendations have been sent to the company, and we are awaiting their response. Flight Attendants will be notified with the results via the hotline as soon as we have received information on this issue.

The following are some important deadlines to remember:

  • Primary Vacation Bidding Period will open at 1600 CST on February 13th, 2004 and close at 1800 CST on March 7th, 2004
  • Bidding for Personal Leave of Absence (PLOA) will open on February 5th, 2004 and close on February 23rd, 2004 at 0800 CST.

The APFA Offices will be closed on Monday, February 16th, 2004 in observance of President’s 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.

In industry news, AMR this week said it would sell $300 million worth of 20-year notes that are convertible into shares of AMR stock. The announcement caused AMR stock to trade 3.8% lower.

AFA representing Flight Attendants at United has asked the U.S. bankruptcy court to appoint an examiner in the matter of retiree health benefits. AFA says that the changes to benefits that will require retirees to bare more of the cost of their medical benefits are a “scheme to defraud thousands of retirees.” United management has urged the courts not to grant AFA’s request to review the planned changes, and claimed that AFA was fully aware of the changes nearly a year ago.

United Airlines asked the bankruptcy court for a third extension in the filing of their reorganization plan. The request filed on Tuesday asked the court to allow United to extend the March 8th deadline to June 30th due to unresolved issues.

Delta has deferred delivery of five Boeing 777 aircraft on order through 2006. The airline said it had decided to take this action in an effort to cut capital spending by approximately $300 million.

For additional aviation industry news, visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.

That is it for this edition of the hotline. The latest information, rumor control, and past editions of the hotline can be found on the web site at www.www.apfa.org.

There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough. Thanks for calling.

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