Today is Friday, September 2, 2005. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake with the APFA Hotline.
As we embark on Labor Day weekend, the entire United States is watching with horror the devastation and despair of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Many of our own employees in the affected areas are as yet unaccounted for. Communication is extremely difficult in the region so if you have had contact with Flight Attendants or other AA employees who have been affected, please pass this information on to American so that our co-workers can get all of the assistance they need.
Massive relief efforts are underway in an attempt to provide for the immediate needs of the millions of victims of this terrible disaster. Many of our members have contacted us with the desire to contribute in some way to this effort. APFA is very proud of our members who have volunteered to staff a voluntary relief flight to New Orleans to carry supplies into the devastated area and people away from it. For our own members, the Wings Foundation maintains a Disaster Relief Fund for Flight Attendants who have suffered damage to or loss of their homes. If you or any AA Flight Attendant you know is in need of assistance, or if you want to make a donation to this fund, please contact the Wings Disaster Relief Committee. Go to APFA.ORG and click on the Hurricane Disaster Relief link on the front page of the website for contact information. You will also find links to the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These organizations assess needs and provide immediate care and are asking primarily for cash donations, as clothing and food are too cumbersome to transport at this point.
In addition, for those of you affected by cancellations and schedule changes due to the hurricane, APFA and the Company have signed a Letter of Agreement that will address those Flight Attendants whose trips were affected by Katrina. Leslie will relay the details of this letter in her portion of the Hotline. You can also read the full contents of the letter at www.apfa.org.
Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are suffering from this, the worst natural disaster ever to strike our country. Now, please stay on the line for the remainder of the APFA Hotline. Leslie…
Thanks Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the rest of the APFA Hotline for Friday, September 2.
We have 4,138 furloughed Flight Attendants and 12 members serving full time in the armed forces. Please keep them as well as the millions of people affected by Hurricane Katrina in your thoughts.
As Tommie mentioned, APFA and AA signed a Letter of Agreement today as a result of Hurricane Katrina that will protect the following: Any flight attendant who had a sequence originating out of FLL, PBI or MIA between 4:00 p.m. Thursday the 25th, through noon Friday the 26th will receive sequence protection. Any flight with a MIC during the same time period will have their guarantee restored or may use PVDs to protect the full value of the sequence. All trips missed as a result of the hurricane will be changed to removal code XX and their guarantee restored. Any Flight Attendant who received a PO or a TM as a result of the hurricane will have their schedule recoded XX and may use PVDs to protect the value of their sequence. Late reports due to the hurricane will be removed and any flight attendant who suffered a severe hardship as a result of the hurricane will be handled on a case-by-case basis with their base manager.
As we head into this Labor Day weekend with the events of the past few days fresh in our minds, it seems rather inappropriate to celebrate. However, this day signifies much more than a simple holiday marking the end of summer, as it has come to be for many. Rather, Labor Day, which was originally a creation of the labor movement over 100 years ago, is a day set aside by the U.S. government to pay tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers. According to the Department of Labor, “it constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Certainly, in our industry, the continuing efforts and sacrifices of countless working women and men deserve a day of recognition.
From the Communications Department: please take a moment to fill out the membership opinion survey that will be available for another week. Also, InfoRep packets were sent out this week to those Flight Attendants who volunteered to be a part of this program. Please carry this packet with you and remember to wear your InfoRep wristband and InfoRep pin while at work.
In industry news this week , the Northwest Airlines mechanics are into the second week of their strike against that company. A Labor Day rally is scheduled on Monday, September 5, at DFW, Terminal E, between 10 am and noon. AMFA is inviting all workers to come out and join their picket lines.
Northwest Flight Attendants are also being targeted by the company, which is demanding big concessions from everyone – except their top executives. Professional Flight Attendant Association (PFAA) negotiators have reported some bizarre proposals from management as published in the Star Tribune earlier this week, including halting Flight Attendant pay upon “first impact” in the event of a crash – and refusing to ship a Flight Attendant’s body back if s/he dies or is killed while overseas. Negotiations are set to resume but some PFAA leaders believe they are facing the same impossible situation as the airline’s mechanics – Northwest is making offers that the union must refuse.
The company wants $143 million in wage concessions, not including a pension freeze. Northwest has proposed cutting the highest pay step by 20 percent. It also wants to take 8 percent from the lowest pay step of $16,000 a year, bringing it to $14,720 a year, just above the poverty level.
Northwest is also demanding the right to staff all international flights with Asian foreign nationals and has already been rumored to be hiring for these outsourced jobs. It also wants to use non-PFAA Flight Attendants on planes with 100 or fewer seats. PFAA reports that this offer would wipe out 5,600 of the union’s 9,736 jobs. Northwest Airlines’ actions toward some of its most dedicated workers is reprehensible.
Crude oil prices, which have tripled in the past three years, hit an all-time high of $70.85 on Tuesday. At the time of this hotline’s final writing on Friday afternoon, crude oil prices were trading at $67.57 a barrel. Analysts predicted on Tuesday that the hurricane would hasten a few airlines into bankruptcy that have already threatened Chapter 11, if some relief from both labor concessions and fuel prices aren’t granted.
The APFA Office will be closed Monday in honor of Labor Day and will be open for business Tuesday, September 6, 2005. If you have an emergency, please call APFA and follow the prompts for the officer on duty.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.