Today is Friday, January 27th. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President, with two items for today’s APFA Hotline.
The first item I will address is an update on the current active dispute between the 3 labor unions on AA property and the Company. The second item is a brief report-out of last week’s meeting of the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions.
As most of you know, earlier this week APFA, the Transport Workers Union, and the Allied Pilots Association each filed separate presidential grievances, in accordance with each union’s contract, formalizing our joint labor dispute concerning AA’s executive cash bonuses. These bonuses are produced via the AMR Executive Compensation Performance Unit Plan. This compensation plan has an established 2003 formula and this formula is scheduled to produce these proposed April 2006 cash bonuses on April 19, 2006.
Today, the four parties met to discuss the process of establishing the ground rules to begin the arbitration process. It was agreed during today’s meeting that these three cases would be consolidated into a single arbitration, and would move forward on an expedited basis. I assure you we will keep our membership apprised as this dispute continues toward a final solution. This challenge is complex and this type of executive compensation is deep seated in this country and in corporate America. However, if we, the labor unions on AA’s property, are to be treated as true business partners with the common goal of returning AA to sustainable profitability, this is a sound union fight.
There is no doubt that APFA wants AA to return to viability. There is no doubt APFA wants respected leadership in both our unions and in the executive offices of AA. There is no doubt that there is a solution to this dispute – that is in the best interest of all the parties involved. The 3 unions and AA must seek a resolution to this matter or have a neutral to decide our dispute.
Concerning the second issue, last week, I attended the first 2006 meeting of the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions. The primary issues discussed during this full-day gathering in D.C. was a focus on future legislative action regarding flight attendant health and safety. Lonny Glover represented APFA’s Safety Department and Deb Luhr represented APFA’s Health Department. We were joined by Joan Wages, APFA Government Affairs representative and leadership from IAM, AFA-CWA, and TWU, Local 556.
I must acknowledge that during our discussions concerning our focus on flight attendant fatigue, the leadership of the other FA unions applauded APFA for our recent step forward on this issue. As a reminder, the October 2005 737/Rest Presidential Grievance Settlement Agreement produced the best contractual guarantee for layover rest in this country. APFA is the only FA union to have a required “8 hours behind the door” regarding Layover Rest Breaks. The FA unions will continue efforts to have this requirement become a federal standard. FAs should not have to negotiate minimum rest. Fatigue is still an overarching issue to all unions representing Flight Attendants in this country.
And now please stay on the line for the remainder of today’s hotline. Leslie . . .
Thanks, Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 27, 2006. We have 4,070 furloughed flight attendants and ten members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.
As Tommie mentioned, APFA, APA and TWU have filed separate but simultaneous Presidential Grievances on the cash bonuses set to be distributed to nearly 1,000 managers in April. Copies of all three grievances and other information on this subject can be found on www.apfa.org.
APFA News: Today, January 25, 2006, Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the position of Ad Hoc Member of the Executive Committee Place #5 were due in the designated post office box. No Notifications were received.
Willingness-to Serve Notifications may be returned to APFA Secretary, Greg Hildreth or the National Ballot Committee anytime prior to the start of the Annual Convention. Nomination Envelopes containing copies of all Willingness-to-Serve Notifications that have been returned to the APFA will be distributed to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee when the Convention is first called to order on February 20, 2006.
The APFA Health Department would like to remind everyone that pre- and mid-sequence drug and alcohol testing is a part of AA’s drug and alcohol policy. This means that Flight Attendants may, on occasion, be asked to submit to a drug and or alcohol test before their trip begins or in the middle of their trip sequence. If you are tapped for one of these tests, please go to the testing site and follow the directions given by the tester. Once at the testing site – there is a concern for a delay, you should contact a Manager on Duty and follow their direction.
From the Contract Department, APFA has been receiving an unusually high number of emails concerning AA’s intentions for recalling our furloughed members. To date, AA has given us no indication that they will be recalling in the near future. If and when this information changes, we will update the Web site and this Hotline immediately.
And from the Hotel Department – Beginning February 4, 2006, crews will be laying over in LIR, at an all inclusive resort in Liberia Costa Rica. Our new layover hotel information can be found on the secured section of the hotel’s department web page. Thank you to everyone who has contacted APFA regarding the layover hotel in UVF. A team will be going to St. Lucia next week to find a new layover property.
APFA’s 13th Annual Board of Directors Convention will be held at the Ayres Hotel – our long layover hotel in LA) from February 20-24, 2006. All members in good standing are welcome to attend. You will also have the opportunity to attend Contract/Scheduling and Retirement workshops on February 20th. In addition to these workshops the following APFA Departments will have information booths available throughout the day: Communications, Health, Safety, Hotel, Legislative Committee and Archives. All training workshops and information booths will be held at the Aryes Hotel in Los Angeles.
APFA National Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson and National Scheduling Coordinator Jaimie McNeice will conduct the Contract/Scheduling workshop. Don’t forget to bring your “On Duty Contract Guide”. APFA member and Retirement Specialist Jill Frank-Smoak will conduct the Retirement workshops. Please go to JetNet and create and print a Personal Pension Estimate as well as Plan Calculation Formulas for the workshop. Also, bring your laptop if you have one.
To enroll in these workshops, contact Linda Plunk, Secretary to the Coordinators at APFA, (817) 540-0108 ext. 8200. Class size is limited so sign up early and plan to stay for the 13th Annual APFA Awards and Recognition Dinner that is being held that evening.
Bankruptcy Watch : ALPA, the union representing the pilots at Northwest Airlines, has announced it is preparing for a Strike against the airline and has set $10M aside in the event they are forced to Strike. The Bankruptcy court is currently set to render a decision on whether to abrogate the Unions’ contracts if both parties disagree on extending the deadline – and the Pilots maintain their right to Strike if their contract is thrown out.
United Airlines announced this week that it will be closing three Flight Attendant bases this year. Paris, Newark and Philly will all close by May 31st. Jane Allen, United’s VP of Onboard services says that the changes to United’s route structure and fleet has rendered these bases cost-ineffective. She goes on to say that the F/A’s based in these cities will be offered the option to bid for other bases. Last Friday, the Bankruptcy judge overseeing the case approved United’s plan to emerge from Bankruptcy. UAL plans to leave bankruptcy early February.
And Delta just announced it will be closing its Atlanta maintenance hangar and outsourcing maintenance work. Delta will be cutting 1,000 positions by April 1st.
Fuel Watch : As of January 17, crude oil was up nearly $3 a barrel from the price on January 10th, to $66.31. The cost of refining a barrel of crude into jet fuel; or the crack spread price was up .62 cents to $9.67 a barrel bringing the total cost of a barrel of jet fuel to $75.98 – a difference of $3.56 more per barrel than last Tuesday’s price.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.