Good Evening. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President with the APFA HotLine for Friday, September 17, 2004.
The APFA Executive Committee met and convened a three-day session beginning Tuesday of this past week. This regular Quarterly Meeting will continue on Thursday, September 23rd at the Radisson DFW. All members in good standing are invited to attend the open portions of this meeting.
I would like to thank the more than 50 Flight Attendants from around the system who participated in our first ever National Coordinator Summit. We collected dozens of ideas from those who participated and intend to implement many of their suggestions into APFA’s internal departments.
I ask you to join me in welcoming the following Flight Attendants who were confirmed by the APFA Executive Committee to serve the remainder of the term ending April 30, 2006:
Safety Coordinator – Lonny Glover (ORD)
Contract Coordinator – Brent Peterson (JFK)
Health Coordinator – Patty French (IOR)
Hotel Coordinator – Dane Townsend (JFK), and
Scheduling Coordinator – Jamie McNeice (DFW)
Another important piece resulting from the long and very productive EC Meeting this week was the creation of a Legislative Task Force for the purpose of establishing an APFA presence on Capitol Hill. I am excited about this prospect and hope that when called upon, you will join your Union in an effort to improve our working conditions with the help of Congress.
The EC also put into place a Buy-On-Board Task Force and confirmed the commitment of the Attendance Control Policy Task Force to continue their work with the Company in recommending improvements for management’s current unilateral Attendance Control Policy.
It sounds a little like APFA might be Task-Force Happy. But as you know, there is a lot of work to be done and we can’t just talk about it. Your Union is obligated to act on YOUR behalf.
Following the EC Meeting yesterday, I met with American Airlines Chief Financial Officer James Beer for my first senior management financial briefing and review of American Airlines’ current financial situation. As a company, we still have a long road ahead but I maintain optimism that our company can return to solvency and take its place as the rightful leader in our industry. The sooner this happens – the sooner we can push to restore our lost wages, work rules and benefits.
I will continue to keep you the membership apprised of the goings-on at APFA Headquarters and throughout the system. Thank you for all of your emails and phone calls filled with comments and suggestions. Please bear with me as I find the time to respond to all of you.
Now, please stay on the line for the remainder of the Hotline.
This is Leslie Mayo in APFA’s Communications Department with the remainder of the APFA Hotline.
The APFA Executive committee endorsed John Kerry earlier this summer as its candidate choice for President. Please refer to the APFA Web site for a letter from APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake to John Kerry sent today, September 17, 2004. Mr. Kerry recently said, “John Edwards and I will not only fight for your jobs, we’ll fight to secure your pensions. Whether it’s US Airways or United Airlines or a steel or auto company, no company should use our nation’s pension guarantee program as an excuse to abandon their workers. Because when they do, they threaten our pension security system and harm our workers, retirees and airline passengers.” If you have not yet registered to vote, please visit the APFA web site for a link that will direct you to information on how to register to vote.
Last week, we told you the rumors were running rampant on several different topics, and most specifically, regarding the TWA Seniority Integration rumor that has taken on several forms since its inception nearly one year ago. This week, we seem to have located a few sources of these rumors and have been able to clarify the real story with most of these individuals. Thank you to those of you who have called in with your questions in an effort to get the stories straight. We have added to the rumor control page and will continue to update it as we gather more concerns and confirmations.
A new rumor that traveled through APFA Headquarters this week was the Company’s supposed insistence that the 777-payout will be postponed until January 2005. This is not true – the 777 Presidential Grievance Award payout will be on October 15, 2004 as scheduled to all AA Flight Attendants who chose the cash payout option for the 777 Arbitration Award. The union will then return the two Super-80 certificates we have been holding as collateral.
Keep those rumors coming! Remember, you can contact your Base Chair or the APFA Communications Department at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation.
APFA invited APA and TWU to the first of what we hope will become many Labor Breakfasts with our fellow Unions on the property. This breakfast is scheduled for September 21, 2004. It is important that we keep the dialogue open and fluid and share our ideas and concerns with one another regarding the industry and our company.
Finally, we are nearing completion of APFA’s new and improved web site. It should be up and running shortly. Please provide APFA with feedback if you should find any problems with navigating through the web site by emailing email@example.com .
From the Safety Department:
On Thursday September 16 flight #1374, a Super 80 A/C from ORD to PHL encountered a low flying flock of geese just after take-off. Several of the geese were ingested into the left hand engine that resulted in an engine failure.
Witnesses are said to have heard a loud pop and observed flames and debris coming from the engine. The aircraft landed safely in Chicago using only the right hand engine. No passengers or crew were injured and an emergency evacuation was deemed unnecessary. Instead, ramp stands were used and passengers and crew were bussed to the terminal. We are proud but not surprised to report that the Chicago based flight attendants and pilots did an excellent job keeping the passengers calm and informed during the entire encounter.
APFA has been advised by AA that several cases of AA employees not cooperating with the TSA during the screening process has resulted in fines of up to $1,500. These are fines assessed to the individual employee – not paid for by the company – for such things as carrying prohibited items through security to being disruptive or uncooperative with TSA employees. TSA directives are governed by Federal Law and anyone violating these directives is subject to fines and/or more severe penalties.
Please be advised that all F-100 qualified Flight Attendants are still required to carry the F-100 portion of your safety manual. The Company has advised APFA that there are still Fokkers parked at the hangar that may be used if absolutely necessary. Please stay tuned to the November 2004 revision for further instructions on removing the F-100 section.
From the Contract Department:
As a reminder, the company has mailed a letter to each employee that has dependents listed on their benefits. The letter requests that you review whether or not your listed dependant(s) are indeed eligible for benefits. If you have added dependents that are not eligible for benefits, you will not be subject to a penalty or repayment of past benefits as long as any and all ineligible dependents are removed by September 30, 2004.
From the Hotel Department:
Effective Saturday, September 18, 2004, crews with long layovers in San Francisco will be temporarily relocated due to a hotel workers strike that is set to begin September 19th. This hotel is not located in the city, as there are no groups of affordable hotel rooms available due to a convention taking place in San Francisco. We will keep you updated with further information as the situation warrants. Please check the APFA Web site for details.
On another note, if the hotel room you are assigned to smells of cigarette smoke upon check-in and it is a non-smoking room, please notify the front desk and request a room change. We have had several reports of hotels charging crew members for deep cleaning the rooms to return them to non-smoking status.
“UNITE HERE”, which represents hotel workers, has advised that workers at unionized hotels in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco may strike or be locked out, resulting in city-wide labor disputes. The contracts in each of those cities have expired, and the local union membership has voted overwhelmingly to authorize strikes. No date has been set in any of the cities, but a strike or lockout could occur from this point forward at any time.
For more information, please visit www.hotellaboradvisor.com to learn about affected hotels and updates on the status of the disputes.
In airline news:
USAir declared bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 this past Sunday. AFA, the union representing the USAir flight attendants is in the process of reviewing USAir’s proposal and will begin to fashion a counter proposal as early as next week. We will continue to keep you posted.
Northwest Airlines has announced an “early out” program with lifetime passes for retirees. Northwest Airlines Flight Attendants must have a minimum of ten-years of active full-time service. Their age plus years of active service must be equal to or greater than 60.
Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline and please remember we still have 5,500 furloughed flight attendants.