This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 20, 2006. We have 4,070 furloughed flight attendants and 10 members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.
APFA met with senior management again this week in an effort to gain more information on the millions of dollars in bonuses set to be paid to 973 managers who were part of this plan in ’03. The number we reported on the Hotline a few weeks ago was based on information we had at the time. We have been told that the number will, however, be considerably higher.
This issue will not just blow over. It is not only a labor issue on AA’s property. It’s an issue for each and every employee at American Airlines. We would like to thank the Flight Attendants that have contacted us as well as non-labor employees and some members of AA management who have expressed concern about the inappropriate bonus payouts when we are still billions of dollars in debt and trying to recover from our losses.
The three unions are working hard on a strategy to convince the Company that this is most definitely not in the best interest of the institution. APFA will continue to pursue this position for the Flight Attendants and all employees of AA. We plan to meet with the company again next week and will continue to keep you up-to-date.
AMR reported a 4th Q ’05 loss Wednesday of $604M, as compared to a $387M loss in the same quarter last year. That brings the overall net loss for 2005 to $861M, which is $100M more than 2004’s loss. AMR attributed its loss to high fuel prices and low-cost competitors.
Southwest Airlines reported a profit of $86M in the 4Q ’05, $30M more than 2004’s fourth quarter. Southwest hedged its fuel prices allowing it to pay much less per barrel than other airlines without the hedging in place.
Continental Airlines reported a 4Q ’05 loss of $43M. Last year, they reported a $208M loss in the same quarter.
President Tommie Hutto-Blake attended the Flight Attendant coalition meeting in Washington this week. As a reminder, APFA co-sponsored a coalition meeting last year with TWU Local 556 – the Union representing the Southwest F/A’s – on the issue of fatigue. This year the host was AFA-CWA, and the coalition’s primary goal is the FAA Reauthorization Act which comes up every four years. While the FAA requires Flight Attendants on board commercial flights of 20+ seats as well as establishes basic training, Flight Attendants are not eligible for FAR certification. Pilots, mechanics. meteorologists, dispatchers and air traffic controllers are however, certified. The process will begin this year and is to be completed in 2007. The coalition also discussed a number of other very important issues regarding Flight Attendant health and safety.
APFA News: From the Safety Department: As a result of last month’s changes to the TSA’s list of allowable items on board, we are asking all Flight Attendants to contact your Congressional Representatives and request support for their respective bills on this issue. Doing so could help revert the policy back to the previously banned-item list. Congress is not scheduled to reconvene until later this month. Both the House and Senate Bills are still very short on supporters. We must have more support from Capitol Hill. Go to www.apfa.org and click on the link entitled: Contact Your Congressperson About Weapons In The Cabin to send your letters today.
After many years of serving the membership in the area of retirement, APFA’s Retirement Specialist Jill Frank-Smoak announced her plans to retire in early summer. We would first like to thank Jill for her years of service to APFA. She has been invaluable in securing and protecting the pension benefits we enjoy today. If you are interested in being considered for the position of Retirement Specialist, please contact Brent Peterson, APFA Contract Coordinator at 817-540-0108, ext 8271 or by email, , email@example.com . If you have not attended a retirement seminar in the past, please plan to attend an upcoming seminar. On Monday, February 20, Jill will conduct a morning and afternoon seminar during the annual convention in Los Angeles.
In addition to the APFA retirement training held during our convention , there will be AA-sponsored retirement seminars for Flight Attendants held during February with Karyn Mally and Jill Frank-Smoak presenting. They will be in Miami on February 27 for one seminar at 3:30. Space is limited so please call Maria Muniz at 305-526-0756 if you plan to attend. There will be a seminar in SJU on February 28th – time and place to be announced. APFA and AA are working on a schedule for the remainder of 2006 which includes visiting every flight attendant base during the year. As soon as this schedule is completed we will post it on our web site.
Bankruptcy Watch: AFA-CWA reached a tentative agreement with UAL that doubles the company’s original proposal for a defined contribution plan. Pending ratification by the membership, this new plan includes a 3% company match effective 1/1/06 and a 2% direct contribution effective on the same day, escalating to a 2.5% direct company contribution on 1/1/07 and a 3% direct company contribution on 1/1/08 for a total of 6% defined contribution plan. It also includes millions in convertible notes and immediate vesting for all currently employed F/A’s at United Airlines. United was expected to gain approval from the Court today on its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
Last week, the Northwest pilots approved the freezing of their defined benefit pension plan eff. January 31, 2006, and an interim 5% defined contribution plan beginning February 1, 2006, by 82%. The ALPA-represented pilots will realize the 5% contribution rate by Northwest Airlines until a new rate can be negotiated pursuant to management’s 1113c filing.
Northwest VP of Finance says that the company must cut $1.4B in annual costs to become a competitive airline, including $361M from the pilots and $161M from the Flight Attendants. That is 1/3 of the entire cost-cutting plan and doesn’t even include the mechanics’ T/A or other employees’ pay as well as the entire company’s cost structure outside of payroll. Northwest management has asked the Bankruptcy Courts to abrogate the contracts currently in place for the pilots and the flight attendants. It had previously asked the court to also terminate the mechanics contract, however, there is a Tentative Agreement that has been put out for a vote. For now, Northwest has postponed its request to terminate the mechanics’ contract pending ratification.
Delta Airlines has stated that their exit from bankruptcy might happen in about a year’s time. They say they have achieved about 70% of their financial goals in bankruptcy. Judge Prudence Carter has taken a medical leave, so the case has been permanently reassigned to Judge Adlai S. Hardin, Jr.
Fuel Watch: As of January 18, crude oil was up more than $2 a barrel from the price on January 10th, to $65.73. The cost of refining a barrel of crude into jet fuel; or the crack spread price was $9.08 a barrel bringing the total cost of a barrel of jet fuel to $74.81 – $2.39 more per barrel than the price on January 10th.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.