Hello, this is Denise Pointer with the InfoRep Hotline for Wednesday, December 21, 2005.
HR 2830, the Pension Protection Act, passed the House of Representatives last week with a vote of 294-132. We succeeded in picking up a number of Democrat votes in this final tally. APFA’s legislative teams were on the phones much of last week contacting offices and seeking support.
Thank you to each and every Flight Attendant who sent letters and faxes and phoned their Congressperson’s office. By joining with the other unions on American’s property along with AA, we succeeded in getting the House Bill passed.
The Senate Pension Reform Bill and the House Bill will now go to conference with leadership from the House and Senate merging the language from the different bills into one final proposed bill to be signed by the President into law. Representative Boehner, who authored HR 2830, stated during this House debate that the final pension reform legislation must deal with the airline issues.
Our legislative work for the past year has almost come to fruition. The past few months have been an example of your PAC dollars at work. And more Hill work – that will directly impact cabin safety standards – is ahead.
As stated in previous updates, the TSA plans to lift the ban on 4 inch scissors and 7 inch tools this week. The TSA believes that by lifting the ban on these items, it will help them detect explosives in carry-on bags more effectively. There is a bill in the House right now called Leave All Blades Behind bill (H.R. 4452) that, if successful, would be the first step in the process of freezing the current list of banned weapons on board the aircraft. We encourage each of you to go to www.www.apfa.org and click on the link entitled: "Contact Your Congressperson About Weapons In The Cabin. Ask your Congressperson to sponsor H.R. 4452 or S. 2083 today.
Recently, along with the much- publicized power of our PAC, APFA has received questions about exactly how the APFA PAC funds are distributed. Here is rundown of how the voluntary PAC contributions are disbursed.
Joan Wages, APFA’s Lobbyist on the Hill, makes recommendations to the APFA Treasurer’s office for all PAC contributions. These recommendations are made taking multiple aspects into consideration: Has the candidate/Member of Congress voted for a Flight Attendant issue lately? Has the candidate written or signed on to a letter relating to a Flight Attendant issue? Does the candidate hold a key position (chairman or ranking minority) on a committee or subcommittee that handles Flight Attendant issues? Is the candidate in a leadership position with the ability to move a Flight Attendant issue in either the House or the Senate?
Additionally, only issues impacting the Flight Attendant career are considered when reviewing the distribution of voluntary PAC funds. Some of the more recent issues include F/A fatigue, wireless communications between the cabin and cockpit, pension reform, cabin safety, the Wright Amendment (and its potential impact on loss of jobs) and outsourcing of jobs, to name a few.
If you don’t contribute to the PAC, please consider doing so. Go to www.www.apfa.org for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These monies are targeted for one purpose only * legislation directed toward the protection and promotion of the Flight Attendant career.
The top to bottom efficiency study comparing AA’s best practices to the most profitable airlines has been completed and it’s time to review the results of the data with all employees. System wide Base Briefings will begin in January. This review was performed over the past several months by all work groups at AA – management, labor and non-labor employees – to identify areas of inefficiencies as compared with other airlines.
Below is the schedule for these Base Briefings*:
1/10 * STL * Flight Service Conference Room 1/11 * ORD * West Conference Room 1/13 * DFW * Yandry Center 1/17 * DCA * Ramp Manager’s Conference Room 1/18 * MIA * Dade County Aviation Auditorium 1/24 * JFK * Group Room 1/30 * SFO * Conference Room 1/31 – LAX * Flight Service Conference/Training Room 2/8 * BOS * BOS Training Room 2/9 * RDU * Kitty Hawk Room across from Gate 18 *time to be announced
Jill Frank will be presenting a Retirement Seminar January 12, 2006 at RDU. Additional information will be at www.www.apfa.org shortly.
From the Contract department – Beginning in January of 2006, initial 757 training will include 752 training. Whether you proffer or trigger for 757 you will receive both the 757 and 752 qualification. If you were 757 qualified prior to January 2006 and have not subsequently been trained on the 752, you would still need to proffer or trigger for 752 in order to obtain the qualification.
American recently announced that is was canceling its plans to start service from JFK to Newcastle England. Escalating fuel prices were blamed for this cancellation.
We have several new layover properties from the hotel department. Effective January 31, we will be moving to the Radisson in downtown Indianapolis for long layovers. In SAP and MGA, our new home away from home will be the Intercontinental Hotel.
All MSY short layovers will be at the airport Hilton through March 15th at which time, we will relocate to the Radisson airport property. Long layovers in MSY will continue to be at the W Hotel on Poydras. FLL long layovers are moving to the Sherry Frontenac after the first of the year.
For IDF crews flying London, there was a mistake on the bid sheet. Crews will be laying over at the Arora, not the Oatlands Hotel. London crews please be advised that if you make a phone call to a mobile number from a land line inside a hotel, you will be charged approximately 5 times regular charges. This is not a charge associated with our layover hotels * it is a charge accessed by the city of London.
Also, during this Holiday season, please remember that if any of you plan on having your families join you on a layover, crew transportation is just that – crew transportation. Due to increased security at some airports, as well as space constraints on the crew vans, our families will have to take public transportation to the layover hotel.
As the hotel industry continues to experience record high occupancy rates at record high rates, hotel challenges are beginning to escalate at an alarming rate. We are doing everything possible to maintain, and improve the quality of our layovers. Your partnership in helping us keep our good hotels and advising us about our not so good ones is greatly appreciated! Please utilize the electronic hotel debrief system at www.www.apfa.org. Click on Department, Hotel then Debrief.
From the APFA community to each InfoRep and your family, we wish you a joyous Holiday and a very Happy New Year. Thanks for all you do and for all you have done in 2005 for the InfoRep program.
With solidarity of purpose toward the New Year.
Denise Pointer, DFW InfoRep
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