Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

07.22.05

This is APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake with an important hotline message for Friday, July 22nd.

This first portion of tonight’s hotline will be devoted to one subject, an important subject to each and every APFA member and fellow American Airlines employees as well. The subject is the possible repeal of the 1979 Federal law known as the Wright Amendment. This law was put into place as a resolution to a long standing dispute in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the 1970’s. Disputes have many underlying issues – but to put it bluntly – if the Wright Amendment of 1979 is overturned – it will have a far reaching impact on the membership of APFA.

In 1973 the communities of Dallas and Fort Worth opened their combined new International Airport. This was the result of a long process and an eventual decision to share a facility that would become a world class international airport. During that decade and at the urging of the federal government “twin cities” across America began to build shared airport space and close down older intercity airports. This was done for many reasons such as traffic congestion, noise pollution over neighborhoods, less congestion of air traffic, and the pooling of resources, to name a few. In the case of Dallas/ Ft. Worth, these two cities signed legal documents to close their individual city airports once DFW International Airport was opened. Fort Worth closed its airport but one squatter stayed behind at Love Field and the legal battles began. Down through the years of numerous legal battles on this issue, both Dallas and Fort Worth have spent millions of public funds to fight the court battles with Southwest Airlines as the opposition. After many years of differing lawsuits, U.S. Congressman Jim Wright, acting as an ombudsman between the parties mediated a written agreement, which became a federal law. Thus the Wright Amendment became the legal standard that all parties agreed to, including Southwest Airlines. The law read that it would be in existence everlasting.

Today, Southwest no longer wants to live up to their agreement. Southwest has a monopoly at Love Field and wants to extend flying to anywhere and everywhere from Love Field with no limits. Southwest does not want to compete at DFW, despite the ongoing invitation to do so. The neighborhoods near Love Field who fought hard during the legal battles of the 70’s have begun to fight again. APFA is asking for your help. Please go to our website at www.apfa.org to find more detailed information on this history and how you can get involved.

A prime question is: if the Wright Amendment is repealed how will this hurt AA? AA has a strong customer base in Dallas and we need them to continue to fly our airline. If Southwest gets its way AA will have to shut down some it our operations at DFW and spend millions to rebuild at Love Field. Jobs at DFW will be lost. Due to dollars spent – AA jobs will be lost. The domino effect could be broad reaching when a company has a debt burden such as AA’s. The employees of AA have made enough sacrifices. And the AA Flight Attendant’s have certainly made enough sacrifices. This will not be the last time you hear the story of the Wright Amendment. Become informed and active on this issue. The three labor unions on AA’s property wil be standing together on this issue. Come join us in our efforts to save jobs!

And now please stay on the line for the remainder of today’s hotline. Leslie, . . .

Thanks, Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 22, 2005.

Don’t forget our 4,185 furloughed members and our 12 F/As serving full time in the military.

From the Scheduling Department, Sunday the 24th is the final day you will be able to access the APFA Scheduling Survey at www.www.apfa.org. Please make sure your voice is heard regarding this important survey. In response to a rumor circulating that the online Scheduling Survey is the groundwork for Preferential Bidding, here is APFA’s official response directly from our Scheduling Coordinator Jaimie McNeice: “APFA has no interest in preferential bidding. This survey has no relation to that concept. We are simply trying to get a feel for what you would like to see on your bidsheet.”

From the APFA Safety Department, please review all procedures regarding arming, disarming and cross checking your doors on departure and arrival. This is to ensure the safety of the crew, the passengers and our ground personnel.

And from the APFA Hotel Department, please be aware of your surroundings when using ATM’s. There is a noticeable increase of crewmembers being robbed by pickpockets while accessing ATM’s – especially while on International layovers.

Thanks to all InfoReps for expressing interest in continuing with the InfoRep program designed to disseminate factual information. We are in the process of purging the current list and will be sending out new packets to all of you who expressed an interest in becoming an InfoRep or renewing your interest in this important program.

Airline earnings have been rolling in this past week. AMR posted its first profit without special items since before 9/11. Tuesday, AMR reported a $58 million profit. Continental posted $100 million and Southwest $159 million. Alaska Airlines reported $17.4 million, America West $14 million and JetBlue $12.2 million. The only loss reported this week so far was from Delta with a $400 million loss in the 2Q ’05.

Northwest Mechanics authorized a strike with a 92.4 percent ‘YES’ vote this week following both sides’ request for release from mediation. The NMB subsequently released the parties and the 30-day cooling off period has begun. Northwest management is seeking $175 million in pay cuts equivalent to a 25 percent cut in pay. AMFA is preparing for a Strike to hit as early as August 20, 2005, while Northwest has nearly finished hiring and training enough replacement workers to keep the airline flying in the event of a Strike. Northwest’s Flight Attendants represented by the PFAA said they filed a lawsuit against the airline this week demanding they stop training replacements in the event of a Flight Attendant Strike.

In another blow to the United F/As, A federal judge on Thursday rejected an appeal by the AFA-represented Flight Attendants who took issue with the company’s settlement agreement with the federal government over pensions. “The facts clearly show”, as the bankruptcy judge concluded, “that the PBGC has authority provided to it by Congress to involuntarily terminate the pension plans if it sees fit despite AFA’s objections,” the judge wrote. Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan ruled that the move did not violate the UAL/AFA Flight Attendant contract.

In rumor control this week, one flight attendant asked if there was any truth to a rumor that a Flight Attendant successfully contested in court a reassignment to a multiple-day trip that resulted in her/his leaving her/his children unattended. To clarify, there is no truth to this rumor. And, to re-clarify the APFA Scheduling Survey rumor that this is the beginning of Preferential Bidding, as was stated earlier in this hotline, “APFA has no interest in preferential bidding. This survey has no relation to that concept. We are simply trying to get a feel for what you would like to see on your bidsheet.”

That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA hotline.

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