Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, April 23, 2004.
On Wednesday, many APFA members joined the APFA National Officers and various representatives in Washington, D.C. to lobby members of Congress on the issues of reduced layover rest, Flight Attendant fatigue, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits for furloughed Flight Attendants. Participants in this lobby event were well prepared to speak to the issues. Each group was provided with material to substantiate our claims that current FAA regulations governing Flight Attendant duty times are causing a dangerous level of fatigue. Many Flight Attendants were fortunate enough to meet with their actual members of Congress, which helped lend credibility to our concerns. As further support of our efforts in D.C., the APFA released a statement to the press. The complete text of the statement, including facts about Flight Attendant fatigue, can be found under Press Releases on the APFA Web site. As a result of our efforts in Washington, D.C., California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer has agreed to sponsor a letter in the senate on the issue of Flight Attendant fatigue. Other senators will be encouraged to co-sign the letter that will be presented to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. In addition, Senator Boxer has agreed to introduce a stand-alone bill on the issue of mandatory Flight Attendant Security Training. Thanks to all of those who participated in our lobby event this week and those who have taken the time to write their members in Congress on these issues. Our continued efforts appear to be paying off.
APFA will once again take to Capitol Hill on May 12th. On that day, we will join Flight Attendants from many other unions to discuss not only Flight Attendant duty times and fatigue, but also safety and security training. Each of the unions represented will also present letters signed by their members to the TSA urging the agency to review the current safety and security training for Flight Attendants and ensure that such training meets the criteria Congress supported in the Homeland Security Act and the Vision 100 FAA Reauthorization. If you have not already signed and sent in the TSA letter APFA sent to your home, please do so today. We must have them no later than May 10th. If you no longer have a copy of the letter, you can obtain one from the opening page of the APFA Web site. All TSA letters can be dropped in any APFA Lockbox in Flight Service Operations or mailed directly to the APFA Communications Department at 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, TX 76040. If you would like to participate in the May 12th Lobby Event, please contact IMA Vice Chair Rick Musica by May 7th via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 817-540-0108 or 800-395-2732, extension 8462. Rick will need your name, base, employee number, phone number, e-mail address, and your nine-digit Zip Code or Congressional District. This promises to be a very big event.
The APFA would like to thank all members who took the time to participate in the Fatigue Survey conducted by the University of Denver in cooperation with the APFA. Over 1,000 Flight Attendants completed the survey. Preliminary results indicate that American Airlines Flight Attendants completing the survey are experiencing a much higher level of fatigue and tiredness than others in the transportation industry. APFA plans to use the information compiled from this survey when addressing reduced layover rest and Flight Attendant fatigue issues with members of Congress and regulatory agencies such as the FAA. Comprehensive results of the survey will be made available soon. Meanwhile, we encourage Flight Attendants to continue to complete the Reduced Layover Rest Survey on the opening page of the web site. The more documentation the APFA has the better. If you have HI3s you wish to share, please mail those into the APFA Safety Department or drop them in any APFA Lockbox.
From the Scheduling Department-International Flight Attendants who have completed a long-range or extended-long-range trip may now reduce their minimum rest period between trips as outlined in Article I.7.M of the contract. A Flight Attendant has the option to reduce his/her 36 or 48-hour minimum home base rest period to 24 hours following a trip sequence that contains long range or extended long range flying. At present, this only applies to NRT trips. The individual Flight Attendant, not crew schedule, may elect to reduce their minimum at home rest. To do so, she/he must go into their personal mode and enter HIHBR/seq/seq origination date. Confirmation of the transaction will be provided. Please refer to Article I.7.M. for more information on this issue.
Also from Scheduling: The APFA was made aware that crew tracking was instructing members of hotel management and/or security to knock on Flight Attendant’s hotel room doors if they were unable to make contact with them by phone. This issue has been addressed, and APFA was assured that such practices would cease immediately.
From the Contract Department-Flight Attendants may now choose to complete the EPT Homestudy on-line or through hard copy. If a Flight Attendant begins the Homestudy on-line, they must complete it on-line. They cannot do a portion on-line and another through hard copy.
The first round of domestic mutual transfers has been finalized. There were 34 Flight Attendants or 17 pairs who successfully transferred. Had it not been for the agreement reached recently between the APFA and American on domestic mutual transfers, only one of the mutual transfers would have been successful. If you are a domestic Flight Attendant who has been affected by the lack of regular domestic transfers and is interested in a mutual transfer, please visit the APFA Web site Hot Topics page or the Flight Service Web site for more information.
From the Hotel Department: APFA continues to meet with the company to discuss the issue of both the Paris and Rome long layover hotels. At this time, no decision has been made on this issue. We will continue to update date you with any new information via the hotline and the APFA web site.
The issue of extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits continues to heat up in Washington, D.C. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.) and Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) have begun circulating a letter to Senate Leaders. They are asking members of the Senate to sign the letter, which asks the leaders to “take up legislation to provide a six-month, 13-week extension of the Temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program, which expired last December.” In further developments, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress’s Joint Economic Committee on Thursday. In his testimony, Greenspan strongly advocated an additional temporary federal extension of unemployment benefits.
The APFA has received several questions regarding the APFA Political Action Committee. Information on the APFA PAC has been posted on the Government Affairs page of the web site. If you wish to join the APFA PAC, you can use the card recently sent to all APFA represented Flight Attendants or the form on the Government Affairs page. If you would like to make a one-time donation, you may do so by making your checks payable to the APFA PAC and mailing it to APFA Headquarters to the attention of the APFA Accounting Department.
A special meeting of the APFA Board of Directors will be held on May 4th and 5th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison, Texas. Among the business to be discussed are proposed changes to the APFA Constitution as well as other new business. All members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of this meeting.
In Industry News:
American reported a first quarter net loss of $166 million or $1.03 per share. This compares to a net loss of $1.04 billion or $6.68 per share for the first quarter of 2003. AMR did post an operating income for the third consecutive quarter, excluding special items despite a $55 million increase in fuel expense from the same quarter a year ago. The complete text of AMR’s press release on the quarterly results has been posted on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
American and Rolls Royce announced this week that Rolls will send up to $1.6 billion in jet engine maintenance work to the Alliance Maintenance facility. Texas Aero Engine Service Ltd. is a joint venture between Rolls and American. Much of the work that is done is on American aircraft, but additional work for other companies could help spread the cost of operating the facility and generate revenue.
U.S. Airways CEO David Siegel resigned on Monday. Siegel led the airline through bankruptcy, but has been unable bring the airline back to profitability. Despite having obtained $1 billion in concessions from employees, Siegel recently approached the various unions for additional concessions. Upon his departure, Siegel may receive a severance of $5 million, which has met with the disapproval of the U.S. Airways employees.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information, past editions of the hotline, and rumor control, please visit the APFA Web site.
There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.