Hello. This is Denise Pointer, DFW InfoRep with an InfoRep Hotline message for Wednesday, September 21, 2005.
For the last 3 weeks leadership representing APFA, TWU, APA and AA have been in Washington D.C. walking the Halls of Congress pursuing joint efforts regarding three important issues: protecting our pensions, seeking fuel relief, and making every effort to keep the Wright Amendment intact.
AA is standing by its commitment to continue to fund our Defined Benefit Plans. In fact last week when two of our competitors filed bankruptcy just prior to a required funding deadline, AA placed another $74.4 million into our pension plans. The Company is scheduled to make one more pension contribution before year’s end.
Without a doubt we are in quite a debate with the US Congress as we continue to remind them – AA and its unions are different! We are the one remaining carrier who has never filed for bankruptcy ‘protection’ and we are again the only remaining airline who is determined to continue funding our Defined Benefit Plans, which are presently 80% funded.
These are important factors, considering the challenges AA and its unions have faced in the last four years. We are continuing to tell Congress that we need some time to fully fund our plans. Our present target is 100% funding. Gerard Arpey has stated publicly and repeatedly, "this is not only an employer’s obligation, it is the moral thing to do." AA plans to honor the contractual promises made as recently as the 2003 restructuring of our contracts.
Now, what can you do as an InfoRep? We are asking that every single InfoRep act now. Write your letters to your two US Senators and your US Congressperson. Please urge your co-workers to follow your lead!
This is a call to action to each and every InfoRep. Please take on the responsibility of recruiting three of your fellow co-workers to write their representatives. Give them copies of your letters. Ask them to do the same. Ask each of those three flight attendants to recruit three of their co-workers, and so on and so forth. Pay it forward, so to speak.
The best way to get your elected representatives attention is to write a hand written letter, or at least hand address the envelope. Mail it to the home district office for each of these Legislators.
Let your elected representatives know AA and its unions need their support on all three issues mentioned in this hotline. You may go to www.www.apfa.org for more background information to assist you with this task. If necessary, email me and I will assist you in obtaining the information you need.
Please be sure to take copies of your letters on all your work trips. Pass them out.
I have heard from many of you with questions and comments regarding bankruptcy, the latest filings in our industry, and what, if any impact this has on AA.
In most industries business works one way: The successful thrive and the weak don’t survive.
Our industry has taken some very hard hits in the last four years, making our industry no simple matter. Some of the sick airlines have taken refuge in bankruptcy court during these challenges – sometimes more than once. If they are allowed to restructure by the bankruptcy courts, they may survive and emerge smaller, usually in a weaker form, to fly another day.
AA and its unions are determined to stay out of bankruptcy. We want to keep control of our own destiny. Right now we have control of our destiny; we have control of the reins. And that is where we intend on remaining, making our own decisions, until we pull out of this downward business cycle.
Our InfoReps are an integral part of this overall plan as we continue to climb toward being a strong union and a strong company once again. Please remain informed, stay involved and pass on correct and useful information to your colleagues. Please encourage everyone to do the same.
It is my hope is that every single member of APFA will take this challenge – write your lawmakers; Junior Senior Domestic International – we need everyone’s help.
Beginning on October 11, Rick Musica, APFA Legislative Representative, and I will begin a tour of our bases. We will be in operations for the sole purpose of recruiting InfoReps and raising awareness on our legislative issues for our colleagues. If you are in ORD on October 11th, please come by operations and visit with us. We will also be in STL operations on October 12th. Additional dates and bases will be announced shortly. We hope to see many of you on the 11th and 12th in Chicago and St. Louis.
For the past six months, the Hotel Department has worked hard trying to solve an incredibly difficult situation with our layover property in Las Vegas. As many of you know, we had some unsolvable health issues at our former layover property. The city of Las Vegas has nearly 100,000 hotel rooms, yet we were running up against incredible difficulties trying to secure 60 to 70 rooms a night for our crews. After months of negotiations, a solution has finally been worked out.
We are pleased to announce that beginning October 1, we have two new long layover hotels. Why two when we formerly had just one? We had to step out of the box and do things differently than before to find the very best possible accommodations for our crews. Our long LAS layovers will be divided between 1) the Marriott Suites and 2) Sunset Station Hotel and Casino. Both of these properties are very nice and we are fortunate to have secured contracts with these hotels. Reviews can be found on the hotel department’s web page at www.www.apfa.org. Short layovers will remain at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. At this time, we are uncertain what the cut-off times will be for short vs. long but we hope to have this information to you very shortly.
Also, crews laying over in Osaka will be staying at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Osaka. And, finally all short layovers in San Diego will be divided between the Sheraton Mission Valley and the Sheraton Harbor Island. All long San Diego layovers will be divided between the Wyndham Emerald Plaza, the Holiday Inn on the Bay and the Westgate Hotel. Reviews of all our new hotels may be found on the website.
For those crews on the east coast wanting to know which flights are laying over at which LAX hotels, this information has been posted on the website. See a trend here? The website has a wealth of information on it!
We have added a new satellite base Atlanta. This satellite base will open as a test beginning in October. ATL will be a satellite of the MIA domestic base. Approximately 24 bid positions will be included on the MIA domestic bidsheet. The trips will originate and terminate in ATL and will be designated by the letter "A" prior to the sequence number on the bidsheet.
Transportation to and from ATL will not be provided if you are awarded or pick-up an ATL sequence. In addition, when searching open time, we encourage the use of the N4D entry as it is the only entry which will identify the origination and termination airport if it is other than MIA. The full entry is N4D/base city//date.
In Rumor control this week, I have received a few emails concerning the upcoming APFA BOD Training which is being held this year in PHX. Here is some general information regarding that meeting that should answer some of the questions.
- This special training is required by the APFA Constitution
- Bids were obtained from many cities. PHX was chosen because the bid was very competitive. Costs involved were held at the same level as previous BOD meetings in other cities.
- BOD annual training is, and always has been, limited to APFA reps, so location at a base was not a necessity
- Patricia Ireland, APFA outside counsel, will be a speaker at this meeting.
If you have not received your new InfoRep handbook, wrist band and pin, please email me.
Please make note of our new email address: Inforep@apfa.org
As always, thanks for all you do for the InfoRep program!
Denise Pointer, DFW InfoRep
1004 W. Euless Boulevard
Euless, TX 76040
817-540-0108 Ext. 8743