Hello. This is Brett Durkin with the APFA Hotline for Friday, June 24, 2005.
On Wednesday, June 22, over 300 American Airlines employees met in Washington to ask members of Congress for legislation that will help American and its employee groups continue their defined benefit pension plans. The employees visited over 200 Capitol Hill offices while APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake joined APA President Ralph Hunter, TWU Systems Coordinator John Conley, AA Senior VP of Human Resources Jeff Brundage and AA Senior VP of Government Affairs Will Riis in meetings with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; as well as the pension staff for Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Finance Committee; and Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee. All of these Representatives have jurisdiction over pension issues.
Chairman Boehner’s pension reform legislation (H.R. 2830), containing many key provisions that we support, was voted on in subcommittee on Wednesday with many APFA members and other AA employees present in the audience, and is expected to come up for a vote in full committee on June 29 (available to watch via web cast at edworkforce.house.gov/committee/webcast.htm . It has been announced that this bill will become part of legislation to overhaul Social Security before it comes to the House floor for a vote. This event generated a great deal of media attention and we would like to thank Lori Bassani, APFA’s Public Relations Representative, our Washington lobbyist Joan Wages, our pension experts Jill Frank and Patrick Hancock and our Legislative Affairs Representative Rick Musica for their hard work putting this event together. Also, we would like to thank the APFA members who volunteered to work the charter flights from Dallas and Chicago to Washington. And finally, a special thank you to all of our members who took time out of their busy schedules on a day off to travel to Washington, D.C., to join us in this important effort.
Now, please stay on the line for the rest of the APFA Hotline. Leslie…
Thanks, Brett… This is Leslie Mayo with the remainder of the APFA Hotline for Friday, June 24, 2005.
Please keep our 4,194 furloughed flight attendants and our 12 members serving full-time in the armed forces in your thoughts.
And for those of you who are wondering whether the working men and women of America can make a difference by having your voices heard on the Hill, listen to this: The House voted 219 to 185 today to block the PBGC’s efforts to terminate United’s pension plans. 30 Republicans including several from Illinois, joined all of the state’s Democrats in supporting the Bill. It is not certain how this will play out or what impact it could have, but it definitely sends a strong message to United Airlines. The Bill must still pass the Senate before it takes effect. Representative George Miller, the sponsor of the bill, says his goal is to get United and its unions back to the table to find an alternative to terminating their pensions.
Representative David Obey, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee was quoted as saying “there will be a race to the bottom” with the other airlines seeking to terminate their pension liabilities to remain competitive. “Without this amendment, Uncle Sam is Uncle Sucker,” he added. Congratulations to our working brothers and sisters at United Airlines!
From the Scheduling Department: Did you know that if you call in sick for a trip, you will be paid what you have flown or up to the 80/Domestic or 85/International or the Reserve maximum? That means if you schedule yourself for 120 hours of TT or line trips, call in sick for a 10 hour two-day, you will still be paid the 110 hours you actually flew and no sick time will be used from your bank. There are many variations of pay based on your actual schedule, so please contact the Scheduling Desk if you have specific questions. The Scheduling Department is in the final stages of preparing a scheduling survey to be made available on the APFA website shortly. Please take a few moments once this survey is announced to visit www.apfa.org. Stay tuned to this hotline for details.
Skyword is out in the field and should be to your homes shortly. Please contact extension 8153 after the 4th of July weekend if you have not received your copy. It includes We’re Restless bagtag inserts and an on-duty chart for you to take on your trips.
And two things from the APFA Contract Department: First – A1 and A3 deadheading Flight Attendants can now use Jetnet to check-in for your flight beginning 12-hours prior to the departure time of the flight. You may also request to standby for an upgrade using Jetnet at the time you check-in. The requirement for signing in on SABRE for your assignment that starts with a deadhead remains at 30 minutes. And second, to clarify some information that appeared in the HI6 this past week regarding language-qualified flight attendants bidding and holding the galley position; language-qualified flight attendants may bid and hold the galley position. This will, however, not satisfy the speaker requirements for that trip. Your seniority must be such that you are not needed as a speaker on any other line in order to hold the galley position.
US Airways and America West got the green light from the Justice Department this week for their merger. The merge of these two airlines will result in the nation’s largest budget airline. US Airways says it will raise $100 million by selling some of its regional jets and lease several airport slots.
United and its machinists’ union reached a T/A including $175 million a year in reduced costs. Voting is expected to finalize by July 22. It includes a provision that allows the Company to terminate its pension plan.
That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.
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