Today is Friday April 15th, this is Tommie Hutto-Blake – APFA President, with this week’s APFA Hotline.
If you are one of the over 2,000 APFA InfoReps you will shortly be receiving a direct mailing from your APFA National Officers. We are asking you to come to Washington, DC with us next month, encouraging your co-workers to do the same. APFA’s next-in-order Lesgislative Action Lobby Day is scheduled for May 11th. Included in this InfoRep mailing will be a few APFA bag tags. These bag tags are for you and a few of your colleagues.
Our new ‘We’re Rest less’ bag tag inserts will be included in our first ever SKYWORD Express to be mailed to all members in good standing by month’s end. You may currently download this new insert on our website.
SKYWORD Express is a new APFA communications tool authorized by the APFA Board of Directors to be utilized when there is a need. You will find that it is the same size as the new On-Duty Contract Guide, thus easy to carry in your flight bag.
If you come to DCA next month for Lobby Day – we ask that you bring SKYWORD Express with you – since the focus is legislative action. The Express will be put to good use on May 11th as you walk the Hill!
On Monday of next week at APFA headquarters Lauri Curtis and I will have our teams in place to continue our on-going discussions concerning our focus on real improvements to our current bid base bid lines. We saw significant changes to some of our base’s bid sheets in April – and we have heard your concerns! We have been told by management that these bid line changes have been the direct result of the company’s Simplification Initiative – which began as a test in ORD in July and became fully implemented this month. The crew resource department tells us that though May sheets will be much the same, they will work with us to have some improvements in place by June and continue our joint efforts throughout the summer months.
APFA knows that your work life revolves around our monthly bid sheets. Before we go too much further in impacting future changes – we will need your help. APFA’s Contract/Scheduling Departments are working toward having a bid sheet opinion survey on our website in the next few weeks. We will be asking you to voice your individual goals for your base’s bid lines. We need your voice to be apart of this solution.
Next week your officers will also be meeting with senior management, the officers of the Transport Workers Union and Allied Pilots Association to review the financial results for AMR’s first quarter. These results will be announced publicly on Wednesday, April 20th. We will be addressing these results during next week’s hotline.
Now please stay on the line for the remainder of today’s hotline, Leslie, . . .
Thanks, Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, APFA Communications Coordinator, with the rest of the hotline for Friday, April 15, 2005.
Please keep our 4,240 members on furlough and our 12 Flight Attendant co-workers serving full-time military duty in your thoughts.
As most of you are already aware: on Wednesday, April 13th a 66-year old male passenger was found unconscious in the aircraft lavatory. Paramedics were called to the scene by Cabin Service, as the crew had already deplaned, however, the passenger was deceased. Please refer to your in-flight manual section: 2.1 for the proper procedures prior to deplaning the aircraft.
Visit www.apfa.org and download your We’re Restless bag tag. Sign up to join your fellow flight attendants in Washington, D.C. on May 11th to lobby Congress on Flight Attendant fatigue, pension reform and outrageous fuel prices. Wear your uniform. The lobby day begins at 10:00 a.m. but you can arrive at any time.
Also at www.apfa.org, you can submit your comments to the FCC regarding cell phone usage on board the aircraft. The deadline for comments has been extended to May 26, 2005. APFA has submitted our opposition regarding any passenger cell phone use on board prior to wireless communication between the cabin and the cockpit has been initiated. They need to hear from you so please take a few moments to visit the APFA website.
APFA is pleased to announce an agreement with AA on an enhancement to the proffer process for the LAX-I proffer effective June 2005. Because it is known that the need for additional flight attendants at LAX-I to cover added flying and awarded vacation time is for a short term only, a Flight Attendant may elect a “short-term” proffer with a return to his or her original base November 1, 2005. Remember, this is entirely at the flight attendant’s option. As all proffers are, this proffer will too be awarded in seniority order.
APFA and the company have been meeting to discuss the continuing overage of Flight Attendants in the MIA Domestic base and, more specifically, the displacements that are still in effect. The overage is currently running between 200 and 250 Flight Attendants, depending upon a specific month’s schedule. The company continues to force flying into MIA to take up some of the surplus. APFA has been able to reach an agreement with the company that will reinstate Flight Attendants to MIA Domestic at a ratio of one reinstatement for every five who leave MIA either through transfer or attrition. These reinstatements will be offered once a total of 10 Flight Attendants have left MIA-D. We realize this will not bring all of the displaced Flight Attendants back to MIA quickly; however we believe this is a step in the right direction.
Last week’s hotline misreported information regarding the need for a credit card imprint at the new layover hotel in New York. Flight Attendants do not have to leave a credit card imprint when checking in – but, again, be sure to take care of any incidentals so that we can maintain this procedure at this hotel.
APFA and AA will be conducting joint retirement seminars at LAX on April 20 at 0900 and 1500 and at SAN on April 21 at 0900 and 1500.Interested Flight Attendants need to contact Lisa Gustaferro at 310-215-7000 to be accommodated at either location. An additional seminar is planned for ORD on May 3 at 1030. Space is limited; please contact Carlos Castillejo for reservations. A MIA retirement seminar will be held May 19 at 1000 and 1330, JFK will be June 15th and LGA June 16. Times for the New York meetings will be announced soon. Seminars for other bases will be planned in the fall.
In conjunction with APFA’s continuing efforts to have Flight Attendants share in the revenue generated from new in-flight initiatives, the first Buy on Board commissions were paid to eligible Flight Attendants on today’s paycheck. This included commission for sales during the month of February and flights from EWR at the end of January. The company notified APFA that they were unable to reconcile the commission for approximately 25% of the Buy on Board flights due to problems with processing and accounting procedures. The company has ensured APFA that all Flight Attendants entitled to a Buy on Board commission will be paid; however some commissions will have to be processed manually. The “My Commission” link on the flight service website allows you to review your commission. You can also make an inquiry about a specific flight or even inquire about a missing commission via the website. Inquiries for February’s commission will be accepted until May 31, 2005, and any commission owed from the inquiry process will be paid in the July 15 paycheck.
In the rumor mill this week, someone asked APFA if IOR crews will be moving from their current layover hotel in MAN. The answer is no. Only IMA and BOS-I crews are switching hotels.
Another interesting rumor is that APFA is testing and considering a preferential bidding system. This is completely false. At APA’s request, AA is testing a type of preferential bidding for the pilots only.
In industry news, the Association of Flight Attendants said it has notified United Airlines that it will rip up its current cost-saving labor contract in 20 days if company executives can’t demonstrate that wage cuts imposed on non-union salaried and management workers were as advertised. AFA has the right to audit UAL’s cost-savings numbers and said its audit found “major problems” with the airline’s data, including evidence the company artificially inflated salaried workers’ pay rates before the wage cuts were factored in.
UAL filed papers Thursday in Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to be released from the obligation to provide a defined-benefit pension plan to active and retired Flight Attendants. UAL is also expected to ask the judge to annul the contracts of two other unions that haven’t agreed to a second round of concessions and to terminate their pension plans as well. UAL has said for months that it must terminate all four of its pension plans and shift the assets and liabilities to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. That move, which would affect 123,000 active and retired employees, would save the company $4.9 billion in contributions through 2010. A trial on the issues is scheduled for May 11.
Continental and the IAM plan to begin a new round of negotiations April 27th on a Flight Attendant concession deal. The flight attendants were the only labor group to reject a tentative concession agreement last month. Other unions agreed to cuts worth $418 million a year.
Comair Flight Attendants approved a contract that will pay new employees about 20 percent less than existing workers for five years. Seventy-two percent of the eligible members who voted said yes to the deal.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA hotline.