Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

07.01.05

Hello, this is Greg Hildreth, APFA Secretary, with the APFA hotline for Friday, July 1st.

From the Vice President’s Department: APFA is proud to announce a settlement between APFA and American Airlines on a Presidential Grievance filed in 2004 “regarding the calculation of the 2004 vacation award for those Flight Attendants who reached a new Company Seniority threshold for vacation accrual in 2003.” The complete text of the settlement is available on the website at www.www.apfa.org. In short, the terms are as follows:

The parties agree that Flight Attendants who reached 20 years of Company Seniority in 2003 are entitled to receive three (3) additional vacation days. Flight Attendants due three additional days will have two (2) days added to their 2005 vacation accrual at the time of the 2006 vacation bidding and one (1) day added to their 2006 vacation accrual to be used at the time of the 2007 vacation bidding.

The parties agree that Flight Attendants who reached 5, 12, or 25 years of Company Seniority in 2003 are due two (2) additional vacation days. Flight Attendants due two additional days will have one day added to their 2005 vacation accrual to be used at the time of the 2006 vacation bidding and one day added to their 2006 vacation accrual to be used at the time of the 2007 vacation bidding.

APFA would like to thank all the SBA advocates involved in reaching this favorable settlement, which will provide additional vacation time for 3326 Flight Attendants.

The first results of the six-month Speaker Test are now available. In a look-back comparison of July vs. June bid results, on a system-wide basis, non-purser language denials declined from 50 speaker bid denials in June to 11 in July. That is a 78% reduction in the number of non-purser denials. Purser/language denials declined from 27 in June to 18 in July – a 33% reduction.

We’ve also heard from a number of Foreign Language Qualified Flight Attendants reporting that they have experienced greater freedom to trade and drop trips. APFA will continue to closely monitor the results of this ongoing test and will keep you updated with future data throughout the six-month period. We also intend to poll our members concerning aspects of this test in future membership opinion polls.

I announced some weeks ago that a portion of the APFA private historical archives was soon to become part of the permanent collection of the Labor Archives at the University of Texas at Arlington. This week our APFA archivist, Cilla Golas, was forwarded a copy of a letter from a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin who plans to do his dissertation research on flight attendants using the APFA collection. I would like to quote from this individual’s letter to the UTA Labor Archives, as he congratulated the University for [and I quote] “securing such an interesting and important collection! I hope to be among the many scholars in [the] years to come who will publish important historical work based on [APFA’s] collection.”

I wish each of you a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday. And now please stay on the line for the remainder of this week’s hotline. Leslie,

Thanks, Greg. This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the hotline for July 1, 2005.

Please keep our 4,185 furloughed co-workers and our 12 members serving full-time in the armed forces in your thoughts. The revised furlough numbers are updated and reflect attrition following the July 1, 2005, posting of the American Airlines seniority list.

On June 30, United Airlines unilaterally changed the Flight Attendant Collective Bargaining Agreement at that airline. United management, working together with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), terminated the contractually-mandated pension plan for flight attendants. As a result, the accrual of pension benefits under the defined benefit pension plan has now ended and the PBGC will begin the process of taking over trusteeship of the plan from United. At the same time, United CEO Glenn Tilton’s $4.5 million pension trust remains untouched. This shameful step is the ultimate affront to the dedicated flight attendants and other professionals who built that once great airline. AFA-CWA continues their three-pronged fight to preserve their retirement security, pushing for a legislative solution on Capitol Hill, challenging the company and the PBGC in court and implementing CHAOS™ strikes if necessary. APFA fully supports AFA’s efforts to restore to the UAL flight attendants what’s rightfully theirs.

The first ever APFA Online Bid Sheet Survey is now live and awaiting your input – just log on to APFA’s website at www.www.apfa.org to begin. Only members will be allowed to participate in this survey. In order to learn the needs and concerns of our membership regarding monthly bid sheets, we’ve created this online survey that will be available for your input for a three-week period. APFA urges you to “speak out” by participating in this.

The Magistrate Judge assigned to the Anthony case – a case involving a challenge on age discrimination grounds by a former TWA flight attendant to the APFA-American Airlines Seniority Integration Agreement – has recommended that the case be dismissed in its entirety. That ruling is subject to review by the District Court Judge and we will update you following the Judge’s review.

Please remember that the Reserve Trip Trade Test begins tonight for trips that depart between July 2 and July 10. Reserves may trade with fellow reserves or lineholders. A Reserve must confirm an assignment and may then post the trip on HIBOARD. Trips traded must be for the same duration and the trade must be completed prior to sign-in. Trip trades will not be allowed for standby assignments or trips assigned from standby. Trades will not affect Reserve guarantees.

Also, please watch for the opportunity to fly in the opposite division during the holiday period. Submit a HISEND message to the generic HISEND form for Crew Schedule at the adjacent base, opposite division. Include the following information: International F/A proffering for Domestic flying or Domestic F/A proffering for International flying with date desiring to fly and specific sequence numbers. If the flying is awarded prior to 1900, you are considered notified of the assignment and the trip will be considered confirmed. Please refer to the July bid sheet cover page for many of the details of the Holiday Staffing Tests.

In Washington, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) spoke on the House floor on Wednesday about the flight attendant fatigue study being conducted by the FAA’s Civil Aroemedical Institute (CAMI). Mr. Honda directed his comments to Chairman Knollenberg (R-MI) of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. Mr. Honda stated that he and 145 of his colleagues believe that “CAMI may have neither the resources nor the time to complete a truly comprehensive study and that additional funding is necessary to study this life threatening issue.” He went on to say, “Accordingly, I ask your assistance in expediting the overdue CAMI study, and ask that you consider the findings of that report.” Mr. Knollenberg responded that he would work with Mr. Honda “to determine the status of CAMI’s current study and expedite its completion, if possible.”

A movement is growing in Congress to fix the nation’s bankruptcy laws to keep companies like United from walking away from their debt. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) reported that he’s had informal talks with House Judiciary Chair Rep.James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about fixing the laws once the pension debate is over.Ehlers said he is not targeting airlines, but he believes too many companies use bankruptcy as a business strategy.

The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday to block a Bush administration initiative to privatize thousands of jobs in the Federal Aviation Administration. Congress defied a veto threat by approving an amendment to a fiscal year 2006 spending bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds for a $1.9 billion FAA contract with Lockheed Martin to outsource 2,400 jobs, many of which are currently union jobs.

Also in Washington this week the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has voted out a postal reform bill stripped of language that would have allowed foreign carriers to bid on international air mail service.

Crude oil prices yesterday broke the $60-per-barrel barrier by closing at $60.54. Prices have traded over $60 per barrel recently but haven’t closed over that amount in more than 20 years.

That’s it for this week. APFA Headquarters will be closed on Monday. Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend! Thanks for calling the APFA hotline.

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