This is Greg Hildreth, APFA Secretary, with the APFA Hotline. Today is Friday, December 3, 2004.
Today marks the 100th day that Tommie, Brett, Cathy and I have been working together for our Union. I would like to recap what we have been able to accomplish or are in the process of completing during our first 100 days – on your behalf – since Tommie was installed as your APFA President:
In the next Skyword getting ready for press, you will find information about a membership survey and you will be receiving the new “On-Duty Contract Guide.” Further, the combined 2001 Agreement and the 2003 Restructuring Agreement are in the process of being compiled for distribution in 2005 so that your work rules are clear. In the area of financial accountability, you’ve had to tighten your belt and so has your Union. Among some of the items, we have nearly $200,000 in back dues, requested $69,000 from recent retirees in dues owed, replaced our Auditing firm with one specifically specializing in Labor, and reduced our insurance costs by $75,000 a year by complying with Workman’s Comp, Liability and Building Insurance State Regulations.
APFA has spent a great deal of time evaluating all of the lawsuits pending against it and is hoping that each and every lawsuit filed against your Union will ultimately be dismissed in Court. Just this week, the TWA Seniority Lawsuit was dismissed in Federal District Court in a 22-page ruling by Judge Nina Gershon. The Court dismissal can be found in its entirety at www.www.apfa.org.
We would like to announce our first-ever Leadership Summit in Dallas, Ft. Worth to be held January 4, 2005. Details will follow on a subsequent hotline. We have revamped the www.apfa.org, produced a Skyword full of information to bring you up-to-date and created a Legislative Action Task Force to take our cause to Capitol Hill. Join us on December 14, 2004, in Washington, D.C., as we rally in support of the preservation of all airline contracts, pensions and our careers.
We have renewed and established a strong working relationship with APA and TWU and meet on a regular basis with AA management to focus on common interests. We developed an Election Procedures Task Force to review and recommend to the Board any enhanced changes to our balloting process, and we have completed an intensive two-day training course for our Board, as well as open training for any and all APFA Reps and Council members on Contract and Scheduling Issues.
We thank each of you for your support and ask for your full cooperation, when called upon, to get involved. Please stay on the line for the rest of the APFA Hotline. Leslie…
Thanks, Greg. This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of today’s Hotline.
APFA is calling on all flight attendants active, furloughed and retired to join us in a candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, December 14th as we march from Lafayette Park to the White House. We will be joining AFA-CWA the Union representing United and US Airways Flight Attendants in opposition to their companies’ efforts to abrogate their bargaining agreements and terminate their pensions under the cover of bankruptcy. Please wear your uniform and meet your fellow APFA members at 5:00 p.m. at the Hay-Adams Hotel across the street from Lafayette Park located at 16th and H Streets, Northwest -just two blocks from the McPherson Square Metro stop. We will then proceed to Lafayette Park for the 5:15 event. Please refer to www.apfa.org for more details.
On November 21, 2004, American Airlines flight 1115, DFW DEN, sustained minor damage during landing. The aircraft struck several approach and runway threshold lights. There were no serious injuries reported by either the crew or the 101 passengers on board. The aircraft had damage to the left main landing gear tire and brake lines, dents and scrapes in the bottom left aft fuselage, chips in the aft bottom radio antennae, and cracks and puncture damage to the bottom of the left engine cowling. There was also damage to the engine’s compressor blades.Currently, the event is classified as an incident by the NTSB. APFA Safety has been in touch with the crewmembers and has made contact with the NTSB regarding the incident.
Our colleagues at TWU have asked us to remind APFA members that if a flight has not been designated as a C-bill clean we should allow TWU to clean the aircraft. The TWU is facing additional job cuts and we need to ensure they are allowed to perform all of their job functions.
Those of you who are interested in submitting your Willingness-to-Serves to APFA should note that the “Position Desired” category was missing from the actual WTS Document. Please note the position you are seeking on your WTS and submit to the appropriate PO Box no later than the date on the WTS form.
The next satellite base test will be Minneapolis/St. Paul set to begin with the contractual month of February. This flying will be on the Chicago domestic bidsheet with a designator for trips departing from and terminating into MSP indicated on the bidsheet. A Q&A will be posted on the website as soon as it iscompleted. APFA will be monitoring the progression of this Satellite Base and plans to discuss future satellite bases with the Company.
TSA has announced the introduction of their Advanced Crewmember Self Defense Training program. The first class will be held December 07-09, 2004 at community colleges near DCA, MIA, ORD, DFW, and LAX. We realize that this is short notice to make plans to attend this class, but this is the amount of notice the Government gave all airlines. There will be more classes beginning in January and continuing throughout the year. As soon as those dates are made available to us we will let you know. The training is at no cost to you, but space is limited to 24 persons per class at each location. You will find information on the APFA Website. If you wish to enroll or obtain more information, please contact the individuals listed at the community colleges.
The rumor control came to a screeching halt this week with word that APFA was successful in seeing the TWA Seniority Lawsuit dismissed in Federal District Court on Tuesday. This dismissal followed oral arguments presented by APFA’s attorneys in October before Judge Gershon. In the last few months APFA has pushed hard for a court ordered ruling. We are pleased to be able to put this behind us and focus all of our attention on other critical issues facing this Union.
Your Communications Department has been working hard on a new area of the website focused on retirement and our flight attendant retirees. Next week we will be unveiling this new area of www.apfa.org dedicated to retirees. A link will be available for all retirees to be able to submit an email address, a short bio and a photo to accompany your name, former base and employee number. If you are a retiree and your name is not listed, please follow the link at the top of the page to submit your information so that we can add you to the list.
In industry news, United and US Airways are both top news stories this week. A judge kept creditors from repossessing some of United Airlines planes following United’s counsel arguing that the creditors were breaking antitrust laws. United posted a net loss of $114 million last month including $14 million in reorganization costs alone. United must report monthly under bankruptcy protection. United also announced it will be cutting 825 jobs in January. Furthermore, they are still planning to seek the abrograting of all contracts if they are unable to reach agreements in bankruptcy.
US Airways reported that they will seek a court injunction to prohibit a labor strike. They were able to reach tentative agreements saving $150 million a year with their res and customer service agents. The T/A awaits membership ratification. AFA-CWA mailed strike ballots to its 21,000 flight attendants to authorize a strike in the event United and US Airways are successful with the termination of their contracts. US Airway claims that they will be forced to liquidate assets as early as January if they aren’t able to renegotiate their contracts with labor and a strike occurs.
On a more positive note, US Airways will discontinue the practice of allowing former Executives and Board members to fly in first class for free.
Please remember that we still have 4,541 furloughed flight attendants and 20 members serving in the armed forces. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.