Hello everyone. This is Liz Geiss, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 23rd, 2004.
This past week was eventful on security issues. The 9/11 Commission issued its final report on Thursday. It is widely available in bookstores and can be found online at www.9-11commission.gov. While most of the report focuses on intelligence gathering, the report recognized the outstanding roles flight attendants played on American Airlines flights 11 & 77, acknowledging that most of what authorities knew about what happened on board came when flight attendants telephoned AA operations. The report states that flight attendants “took action outside the scope of their training.” The Commission also said FAA security rules were supposed to create a layered system of defense, but “each layer relevant to hijackings — intelligence, passenger pre-screening, checkpoint screening and onboard security — was seriously flawed.”
APFA has worked for changes to flight attendant security training for the past 3 years. This week APFA President John Ward joined other flight attendant union leaders to meet with TSA Administrator Stone to discuss the continuing need for enhanced training. In another meeting last Monday, TSA unveiled draft guidelines on security training. APFA Safety Coordinator Joann Matley attended that meeting and will submit APFA’s comments and recommendations to TSA today.
Willingness-to-Serve Notifications will be sent out on Monday, July 26th to all JFK, LGA, MIA, and SFO Flight Attendants for the positions of APFA Vice Chair at those bases. APFA members interested in running must have their Willingness-to-Serves Notification back to APFA by 1000 Central Time on August 25th, 2004.
A special meeting of the APFA Board of Directors will be held on July 26th and 27th, 2004 at the Radisson Hotel DFW Airport South in Irving, Texas. The meeting will begin at 10:00a.m.each day. Members in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend all open portions of the meeting.
APFA members were recently mailed copies of the proposed Constitutional changes and an explanation of the proposed changes that were approved by the APFA Board of Directors. This information was sent out non-profit bulk rate, which is the lowest available postal rate for this type of package. In a separate mailing, members were mailed a ratification ballot via First Class U.S. Mail. The APFA Board of Directors has endorsed ratification of these changes. Ballots for the proposed Constitutional changes are due by 0900 Central Time on August 11, 2004. All questions related to the changes should be directed to your respective base representatives. Members may now view the language of the proposed changes and an explanation of each of the changes on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
We appreciate the interest generated by the new APFA Optional Insurance Benefits. Please log onto the APFA website to learn more about them. On the homepage there is an icon that will link you directly to the elect benefits web page. For specific questions, please direct your call to the Benefit Counselors at 1-888-219-9459 and speak with a qualified representative who will answer your questions.
Washington D. C. Update: Congress recessed late Thursday evening for six weeks. No action was taken to extend unemployment benefits largely because the Labor Department continues to claim that the number of unemployed workers is dropping. (It was announced that the unemployment numbers are 60,000 lower than one year ago this month.) Sadly, their numbers only tell part of the story because they do not reflect the number of people who have given up looking for a job. It is highly unlikely that the Bush Administration will agree to extend benefits before the election in November since they claim that the economy is growing.
Taking you around the APFA:
From the Safety Department: Beginning the week of July 26th – July 30th – APFA Safety Council representatives will be out in operations through out the system, raising awareness of the importance of maintaining an up-to-date Flight Attendant Safety Manual. APFA Safety reps will be talking about and sharing tools to help ensure that your safety manual is up to date. The August 1 revision will lighten the book some. Domestic and International Food service is out! The manual awareness project is a cooperative effort with Flight Service Daily Operations.
From the Contract Administration Department: Jill Frank, APFA member will be conducting a retirement training session at APFA Headquarters on August 2, 2004 starting at 1000 am. If you are interested in becoming a retirement representative for your base, please contact the Contract Department at APFA Headquarters at 1-800-395-2732 ext# 8271 no later than July 28, 2004. We still have room for about 5 more people.
From the Scheduling Department: The new Optional Exchange drop/trade programming does not group Optional Exchange (OE) and Optional Exchange on Reserve (OR) together in HIBOARD under Option 11. When you do a search for trips labeled as OE, the OR trips will not show unless you specifically search for OR. For those Flight Attendants looking to pick up trips in HIBOARD, please be sure to search both categories. All trips in HIBOARD will show if you do not use Option 11.
Also, from the Scheduling Department, more rest for Co-Terminal Layovers. American Airlines and APFA have come to an agreement concerning layovers in which a co-terminal transport is involved. Due to longer drive times when working sequences involving a co-terminal layover, these trips will now be built with a minimum of nine and a half (9 ½) hours rest reducable to nine in actual operations.
If a flight Attendant falls below nine hours free of all duty on a co-terminal layover, s/he may choose to depart the following day with no less than the FAA minimum of eight hours, or may call and request the nine hours rest. If the Flight Attendant chooses the second option, it will be his/her responsibility to notify tracking upon arrival at the layover city. Tracking will then make the decision to delay departure for the next day or replace the crewmembers requesting the additional rest. If the tracker removes crewmembers it will be considered a MIC (misconnect, illegality, cancellation) and the Flight Attendant(s) involved will have no right to reassignment pay protection.
Once again, to receive the nine hours free of all duty the Flight Attendant(s) must call tracking. No TM (trip missed) or PO (personal other) will be issued under these circumstances.
From the Hotel Department: The APFA has been informed by the company of a change in the layover hotel in Boston. Due to the Democratic National Convention, all crews will be laying over at the short layover hotel location. This change will be in effect from July 24, 2004 thru July 30, 2004. On another note, the downtown layovers in New York scheduled during the Republican National Convention will NOT be relocated.
The APFA met with the company on Friday July 9, 2004 to continue talks on the issue of the Paris long layover hotel. As a result of this meeting, another long layover hotel review will be conducted in August 2004. We will keep you up-to-date as more information becomes available.
Retirement Information: Flight Service will be conducting a series of retirement seminars in DFW on July 29th, August 10th, and August 12th. The seminars will be held in the Flight Service Conference Room behind the MOD’s office. Sessions will begin at 1030, 1330, and 1530 each day. There is no need to make reservations. If you are considering retirement, these sessions will be very informative.
In Industry News: American Airlines, Inc., reported on Wednesday earnings of $6 million for the second quarter 2004. This compares to last year’s second quarter loss of $75 million. The second quarter results for both 2003 and 2004 include special items — both gains and losses — resulting from the company’s restructuring efforts and a prior-year U.S. government grant. Excluding these special items, the company recorded a second quarter loss of $25 million, a significant improvement over last year’s loss of $357 million. Also, excluding these special items, the company recorded second quarter operating profit of $165 million, an increase of $360 million over last year’s results.
“Compared to a year ago, we ran a much more efficient, more productive and smarter airline in the second quarter,” said Gerard Arpey, AMR’s Chairman and CEO. “The hard work and ingenuity of our people enabled us to drive the highest level of operating earnings, before special items, we’ve seen in four years, despite record fuel prices. The progress we have achieved under our Turnaround Plan, while gratifying, was overwhelmed during the period by the record high fuel prices that afflicted our industry and indeed the entire economy.”
Northwest Airlines is seeking $950 million in concessions from its employees, including $300 million from current negotiations with pilots. Northwest reported a second-quarter loss of $182 million or $2.11 per share, compared with a profit of $227 million or $2.45 per share in 2003.
Lenders assist United Airlines in finalizing $1 billion in new bankruptcy financing. This loan assistance will give United another year to reorganize while currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The loan package will be split among, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and GE Commercial Finance.
That’s it for this edition of the APFA hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org for more information.
Remember, there are 5,527 Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
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