This is APFA Communications Coordinator George Price with an APFA Hotline Update for Friday, February 27, 2004.
The APFA, APA, SOC and Corporate Security have been working together to monitor the situation in Haiti. On Thursday, February 26th at 1600 CST a decision was made to halt all service in and out of Port-au-Prince until March 2. On Monday, March 1 a meeting will be held to study the situation and a decision will be made at that time as to when service will resume.
If you have been affected by cancelled trips to Haiti, you will need to review language in Article I.9 of the contract. If your trip cancels and it is NOT your last trip of the month, you should follow the language in Article I.9.p.2 regarding misconnections, illegalities, and cancellations at sequence origination other than the last trip of the month. If your trip cancels and it IS your last trip of the month, you should follow language in Article I.9.p.6 regarding misconnection, illegalities, and cancellations for trips in the last five days of the contractual month.
Please stay on the line for the current APFA Hotline.
Hello. Today is Friday, February 20, 2004. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
There continues to be a great deal of confusion over the vacation accruals. Now that the vacation bidding period is upon us, questions are coming in on how the vacation reductions will affect this year’s vacation bids. Please remember, after last year’s vacation reductions and subsequent re-bid, Flight Attendants “banked” a number of days of accrued vacation. These “banked” days, when added to vacation accrued for this year, will equal, not exceed, the reduced vacation accrual amounts outlined in Attachment C of the Restructuring Participation Agreement. In other words, the banked amount will not be added to the vacation amounts as outlined in Attachment C of the Restructuring Participation Agreement (RPA).
For example, a Flight Attendant who, as a result of last year’s vacation reduction, had her/his vacation reduced from 28 days to 19 days will have the nine days’ difference “banked.” These “banked” days, when added to this year’s accrual, will equal 19 days of vacation as outlined in Attachment C of the Restructuring Participation Agreement. This methodology is outlined in Attachment D of the Restructuring Participation Agreement.
The APFA is currently in discussions with management regarding how the methodology currently used by the Company to determine vacation accrual affects those Flight Attendants who have advanced to the next level of vacation accrual, for example, a Flight Attendant who went from 19 years to 20 years in 2003. The APFA believes that these Flight Attendants are not being credited with the proper number of vacation days. The APFA is vigorously pursuing this issue and will provide information to the membership through the APFA Hotline and web site as it becomes available.
Please refer to Attachment C and Attachment D of the Restructuring Participation Agreement for additional information on vacation accrual. Both attachments can be found on the opening page of the APFA Web site under Vacation Accrual/Deferral Information.
Primary vacation bidding opened on Friday, March 13th and will close at 1800 Central Time March 7th. Awards will be posted on March 14th. Secondary vacation bidding will open at 1600 Central Time on March 15th and will close at 0700 Central Time on March 23rd. Awards will be posted on March 30th. Primary and secondary bidding for vacation awarded under the 777 understaffing award will open at 1800 Central Time on March 30th and will close at 1800 Central Daylight Time on April 4th. These dates have been posted on the Calendar on the APFA Web site.
The Company is offering a limited number of Planned Leave of Absences for 2004-2005. Flight Attendants interested in proffering for a PLOA will find the ballot packet and additional information on the proffer on the Flight Service Web site. The proffer itself must be submitted on-line through the Flight Service Web site. The proffer for PLOA will close at 0800 Central Time on February 23rd. American has informed the APFA that they do not plan to offer additional Overage Leaves in 2004 once the approximately 1,300 Flight Attendants return from Overage Leave to active status July 1, 2004.
Ballots in the runoff election for APFA National Officers are due by 0900 Central Time on March 10th. Ballots were mailed on February 9th. If you have not received a ballot, please contact the APFA National Ballot Committee by calling 1-800-395-2732, Extension 8311 to request a duplicate. The candidates for president in the runoff election participated in a debate in DFW on Thursday, February 19th. The event was organized and paid for by the candidates themselves. This was not an APFA sponsored event. It is APFA’s understanding that each candidate was provided a videotaped copy of the debate, and that they plan to make the recorded event available through their individual web sites.
Response to the Fatigue Survey being conducted by the University of Denver in cooperation with the APFA has been very good. It is important that the membership participate in this survey. The information that is compiled through the survey will be useful to the APFA in addressing the issue of reduced layover rest. The University of Denver has informed the APFA that due to the response to the survey, the survey site did go down for some time this week. It is back up. Also, the University is aware that some Flight Attendants who have attempted to complete the survey have encountered problems. Most of these problems are due to the operating system used by the Flight Attendant. APFA is also aware that Flight Attendants are having problems accessing the survey from Jetsets in operations areas. If you have had problems and would like to participate in the survey, please try using another operating system or another computer.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a number of AMR shareholders filed a proposal that would require AMR Shareholders to approve so-called “golden parachutes” for top executives. John Chevedden, a shareholder activist from California who was among those who filed the proposal, said that his actions were inspired by employee outrage last year over AMR’s executive perks, which forced the resignation of Don Carty. American has agreements with its top executives that would entitle them to three times their annual salaries and any bonuses in the event the airline was taken over and they were removed from control of the company. AMR is defending the “golden parachutes,” and has asked the SEC to omit the proposal from the May 19th AMR Stockholder Meeting agenda. The SEC will rule on whether Chevedden’s proposal will be allowed to remain on the agenda for consideration by stockholders. APFA is in full support of Mr. Chevedden’s efforts and encourages all APFA members who are currently AMR stockholders to let the Securities and Exchange Commission know you want a chance to have your voice heard on Mr. Chevedden’s proposal. The SEC can be contacted by calling 1-800-SEC-0330 or by e-mail at www.sec.gov.
From the APFA Hotel Department: Without the knowledge of APFA or APA, American moved crews from the Hilton in Port O Spain, Trinidad, to another hotel, which in our opinion is unacceptable for a number of reasons. Due to objections from both APFA and APA, the Company will return crews to the Hilton March 1. Also, the Company was unable to sign a contract on a long layover hotel in Rome prior to the posting of March bids. The new target date for a long layover hotel in Rome is April 1. More on this hotel assignment once plans are final.
The Annual APFA Board of Directors Convention will be held in Boston on March 1-5 at the Omni Parker House Hotel, which is our long layover hotel. The Convention is required under the APFA Constitution. During the course of the meeting, the APFA Board will deal with a wide range of issues including the APFA Budget, the APFA Constitution, and electing Ad Hoc members of the APFA Executive Committee to name but a few. All members in good standing are encouraged to attend all open portions of the meeting. This is a unique opportunity to see just how your union government works. Additional information including start times for each day’s meeting will be included on the Calendar of the APFA Web site.
The 2004 Democratic National Convention will be held in Boston early this summer. Members of various labor unions are planning to volunteer to assist in the event. If you are interested in becoming a part of the convention as one of the nearly 8,000 volunteers, go to www.boston04.com/volunteers.asp for information and to complete the on-line application. The link to the site has also been added to the Boston and Boston International base pages on the APFA Web site.
In Washington D.C., the Senate last week passed a bill, S.1072, the “Safe Accountable Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act.” Under provisions of this bill, aviation fuel taxes would be increased to prevent what supporters call “fuel fraud.” The House of Representatives is now considering a similar bill, H.R. 3550, the “Transportation Equity Act.” If this legislation were to be enacted into law, it could cost American Airlines approximately $40 million additional dollars per month, which would hinder the airline’s financial recovery.
The House Ways and Means Committee will craft the bill in the House. It is important that members of this committee hear from those in the industry that live in their districts. They need to know that we, as aviation employees, oppose any increases in aviation fuel taxes. The members of the House Ways and Means Committee are: U.S. Representative E. Clay Shaw, Jr., 22nd District of Florida; Representative Charles B. Rangel, 15th District of New York; Representative Mark Foley, 16th District of Florida; Representatives Phil Crane, 8th District of Illinois; Representative Ben Cardin, 3rd District of Maryland, Representative Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas; Representative Pete Stark, 13th District of California; and Representative Xavier Becerra, 31st District of California. APFA members can use Capwiz, APFA Legislative Internet Service, on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site to contact these members of Congress. Their contact information can also be found on the Government Affairs page under 108th Congress.
The APFA continues to work on Capitol Hill on the issue of extension of Unemployment Insurance. There are several bills before Congress that would extend benefits for laid off workers, but they face an uphill battle due to a lack of Republican support. Members of the APFA whether active or furloughed should take a moment to contact their members of Congress to urge their support of an extension of Unemployment Insurance Benefits for all furloughed aviation employees. You can do so as a member of the APFA by using Capwiz on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site.
Flight Attendants on furlough are reminded that there is a great deal of information available to them on the Department of Labor Web site. The site address is www.dol.gov. The link to this site is also available on the Furlough page of the APFA Web site.
From the APFA Treasurer’s Office: In order to become a member of the APFA, the APFA must receive a signed hard copy of the APFA Membership Application Card. A faxed copy is not sufficient. If you are not currently a member of the APFA and would like to join, please send the signed Membership Card to the APFA Membership Department at 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, TX 76040. If have accrued a dues balance while on active status, you must pay that balance in full in order to cast a valid ballot in any APFA election.
In the Rumor Mill this week: American announced it would make available to all Pilots a bomber jacket as a new uniform item. The Company will not be responsible for the cost of the new jackets. Pilots interested in obtaining a jacket must purchase them.
In Industry News:
Pilots at US Airways agreed to begin formal discussions with their airline on additional contract concessions. This will be the third round of concessions and the first since the airline emerged from bankruptcy. US Airways Flight Attendants have demanded the airline provide them with a detailed business plan.
Flight Attendants at United have turned up the heat on their airline’s management this week regarding United’s plan to increase retiree health care costs for the nearly 2,500 Flight Attendants who retired prior to July 1, 2003. Members of AFA presented literally thousands of letters from retired Flight Attendants to United management protesting the proposed move. Earlier this month, over 100 members of Congress signed a letter admonishing United for their plans to change the health care plan for retirees. On Friday, the bankruptcy court appointed an examiner to review United’s changes the retiree health care made after employees retired in July. Also on Friday, the Bankruptcy Court granted United thirty additional days to file a reorganization plan to emerge from Chapter 11. United originally asked for a four-month extension.
Northwest has renewed its drive to extract concessions from its labor force. The airline said it needed $442 million from the Pilots alone. ALPA, the union representing Northwest Pilots, said that they would do an analysis of the company’s finances before reaching any conclusion.
Southwest Flight Attendants said on Wednesday that they are willing to resume contract talks with their airline. The talks, which have been ongoing for more than two years, have stalled on the issue of pay. Southwest is offering 17% over a six and one half year period, while TWU, the union representing Southwest Flight Attendants, is asking for increases comparable to other work groups at Southwest, which range from 6% to 7.5% per year.
For additional industry news, visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That’s it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information, rumor control, and past editions of the hotline visit the web site.
Remember to exercise your right to vote!
There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.