Hello everyone. This is Liz Geiss, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 2, 2004.
We would like to begin this week by welcoming back to the line 178 formerly furloughed Flight Attendants (which is a correction from the July 1st, Special Hotline Update stating 184 formerly furloughed Flight Attendants). Of the 233 Flight Attendants who received recall letters, 55 resigned. Flight Attendants included in this recall returned to active status on July 1st. The APFA Membership Department reminds returning Flight Attendants to update their contact information with the union by completing the Change of Address card mailed to you, complete the Membership Registration form under “Members Only” on the APFA Web site, or e-mail the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also like to welcome back to the line our Flight Attendants returning from Overage Leave of Absence, and extend a special thanks to these members for dramatically reducing the number of Flight Attendants that would have been furloughed last year.
The Quarterly Executive Committee meeting took place on Monday, June 28th, in Boston. Among the business conducted was an endorsement of a Presidential candidate. Due to our Flight Attendants suffering from massive furloughs, and loss of work rules, benefits, and contractual wages, the APFA feels the prospect of a pro-labor leadership in Washington D. C. would certainly benefit it’s members and organized labor as a whole. Therefore, the APFA leadership is endorsing John F. Kerry as President of the United States of America in 2004. An Executive Committee resolution was passed, by all in attendance, to promote his candidacy, and will soon be posted on the web site. Minutes and resolutions to all Executive Committee and Board Of Directors Meetings can be found on the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org under the icon EC/BOD Meetings. The minutes and resolutions to the June 28th, EC Meeting will be posted no later than July 15th, 2004.
Washington D.C. Update: Time is running out to contact your Senator on the issue of Flight Attendant fatigue. Senator Boxer’s office will continue coordinating signatures for several weeks. The Boxer letter is posted under the icon “ACTION ALERT” on the opening page of the APFA web site, which will take you directly to the Capwiz feature. This feature allows you to submit an e-mail to your Senator asking for his/her support and requesting that they sign on to this letter. Senator Boxer’s letter is asking the FAA to review and recommend changes to the flight attendant duty and layover rest regulations for flight attendants. Once you have sent your letter, click on TELL-A-FRIEND to send up to six flight attendant friends an e-mail message and allow them to respond with their own letter. Please pass the word to all of your flying partners, and ask their assistance in contacting congress on this very important issue. You may also obtain a list of phone numbers for the senate offices by going to the Government affairs page of the APFA web site and clicking on 108th Congress-U. S. Senate. We need our voices to be heard in Washington, so log onto the APFA web site and start sending those letters and making those calls.
The APFA is pleased to make available to you a number of various supplemental medical and disability plans. APFA Flight Attendants will have the opportunity to meet individually with non-commissioned Benefit Counselors to learn more about these voluntary benefits. Please remember, you must be an active Flight Attendant, on payroll, to apply for these benefits. Once your have enrolled, your payment will be payroll deducted. If you should go to an inactive status after your enrollment, you would be billed for the amount. Benefit Counselors will be available in Flight Service Operations areas beginning June 21st, 2004.The schedule for these educational meetings are as follows:
- Beginning June 21st, 2004 at DFW, MIA, and ORD
- Beginning July 12th, 2004 at LAX, LGA, JFK, BOS, and STL
- Beginning July 19th, at SFO, SJU, DCA, BWI, IAD, and RDU-I
Taking you around the APFA:
From the Safety Department: APFA Safety along with other unions attended a meeting with the Transportation Safety Administration on advanced Crewmember self defense training in Washington, DC on June 23rd. As stakeholders, APFA has been involved with the development of crewmember self defense from the beginning. While we regret the fact that basic self-defense is not included in this program, we are encouraged by the fact that TSA has committed to including some of the components that we identified as valuable to crewmembers from last year’s strategy meeting.
The Safety Department would also like to remind you that the FAA is currently conducting observations aboard our aircraft. As always, it is important to ensure that your manuals are up-to-date, you are in possession of your FAA required equipment, and continue challenging all individuals for proper identifications. We have been notified that the FAA is issuing individual fines to Flight Attendants. For your continued safety, while on layovers try to always travel with other crewmembers. Please stay in well lit areas and around the general public. We discourage that you travel alone if at all possible. We encourage Flight Attendants to visit the SSI Web site for the very latest safety and security information. The web site has recently been updated. The SSI Web site can only be accessed through the Flight Service Web site.
From the Health Department: We appreciate the interest generated by the new APFA Optional Insurance Benefits. Please log onto the APFA website to learn more about it. On the homepage there is an icon that will link you directly to the elect benefits web page. For specific questions, please direct you call to the Benefit Counselors at 1-888-219-9459 and speak with a qualified representative who will answer your questions.
From the Hotel Department: The APFA was notified by the company, that effective July 1st, the Paris layover hotel changed locations. The new hotel is an airport location, with a short-term contract of three months. The APFA remains hopeful that during these three months, the parties will be successful in securing an acceptable downtown hotel. Please refer to the opening page of the APFA Web site for additional information on the new location and an update from Patty Bias, APFA Hotel Coordinator.
The Scheduling Department would like to remind you that due to the number of reschedules assigned to line Flight Attendants, the APFA Scheduling Department has developed a form to help track the problem and seek resolution when the Flight Attendant has been wrongfully rescheduled. This form is green and can be found at all bases near the APFA lockbox. Instructions and a list of the necessary documents required to research your case are listed on the form. This form is not for Flight Attendants who have been rescheduled due to a misconnect, cancellation, or illegality, but for those who have flying “tacked on” to the end of the sequence.
In Industry News: Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants strike a deal. TWU Local 556 the union that represents Southwest Flight Attendants came to a tentative agreement with Southwest last Friday. Contract talks stretched over two years when Southwest’s chairman and founder Herb Kelleher stepped in to handle talks. This new deal will give Flight Attendants a 12 to 23 percent pay increase through 2008. These new increases will be retroactive from 2002 until the T/A is ratified by the members. The union will announce the voting results on July 30, 2004.
United Airlines’ third attempt at a federal loan guarantee was turned down. On Monday the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) unanimously rejected the loan application with no chance to apply again. Although United disagreed with the ATSB, it will move forward to secure the exit financing needed to take the airline out of bankruptcy. Union groups at United are now very concerned that they will be asked for more employee concessions to reduce the costs at the airline.
On Monday US Air machinists union said it would not agree to further concessions. Instead the machinists union has offered ideas on other ways to cut costs. Meanwhile, the pilots union is offering pay cuts and longer flying hours to help the carrier out of its financial difficulties.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Monday, July 5th in observance of Independence Day. An officer on duty will be available to assist Flight Attendants with emergencies. If you do encounter an emergency situation on Monday or at any time after regular business hours, please call 817-540-0108 or 800-395-2732 and follow the prompts very carefully for assistance. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be directed to the appropriate representative or department for assistance during business hours.
That’s it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit our web site at www.www.apfa.org for more information.
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