Hello. This is APFA Communications Coordinator George Price with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 10, 2003.
On Thursday, American Airlines provided the APFA with the results of the Overage Leave and Partnership Flying proffer that closed on January 7, 2003. They are as follows:
The final overage in St. Louis was 0 International and 343 Domestic. In all other bases, the final overage was 0 International and 528 Domestic.
In St. Louis, 0 International and 47 Domestic Overage Leaves were awarded. There were 96 International and 349 Domestic Overage Leaves awarded in all other bases.
Twenty-seven Domestic Partnerships were awarded in STL and zero International. There were eight Domestic and zero International Partnerships awarded in all other bases.
The total number of Flight Attendants “subject to” furlough is 343. Furloughs will be done in accordance with Article 16.B.1, Page 185 of the contract, which states “When there is a reduction in force, the Flight Attendant(s) with the least system seniority shall be laid off,” and will be effective January 31, 2003.
Flight Attendant HI10s will soon be update with the Overage Leave and Partnership Awards.
APFA’s financial analyst continues to work on his review of American’s books. Once this process is complete, APFA President John Ward will convene the APFA Board of Directors. We will keep you updated on the status of this process.
On Thursday, January 9th, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the airline industry. Senators Trent Lott and Kay Bailey Hutchison expressed support for changing the Railway Labor Act in their opening statements.
AA CEO Don Carty and others testified that the largest carrier expense is labor costs. Carty described $2 billion in cuts the carrier has undertaken but still targets another $2 billion which he said is needed to make AA competitive with the low-cost carriers. Carty said that AA must sit down with labor to determine further changes that “employees may not embrace.” He supports changes in the Railway Labor Act, but stated that such changes would not help in the current situation since contracts are already in place for the next 3 or 4 years.
Oddly enough, Southwest Airlines, who has enjoyed good relations with its unions and has successfully negotiated several contracts in 2002, has elected to remain neutral on the issue of changing the Railway Labor Act.
Other topics discussed at Thursday’s Senate hearing were increased foreign ownership, pension liabilities, security costs and who should pay as well as questioning whether the current hub and spoke system can continue into the future.
President Bush signed legislation on Wednesday evening that will continue the 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to laid-off workers who apply for the extra aid by the end of May. It also applies the benefits retroactively to Dec. 29. But this legislation will not apply to over 1 million workers who have already exhausted all of their benefits.
The Company announced recently that Flight Attendants on Overage Leave would be able to use industry discount tickets on other airlines and OneWorld carriers. The Trip Book will be updated soon and more information available on or about January 20th.
AMR CEO Don Carty recorded a message to all employees on January 6th regarding the cost of lost time to the Company. It is the APFA’s position that Flight Attendants use sick time responsibly. The Company has not shared any information with the APFA that contradicts this. We work in a unique environment with hundreds of passengers at a time, for lengthy periods, in an enclosed environment. We also face unforeseen and unpredictable turbulence while moving around the cabin. APFA does not condone misuse of sick time, but the union also feels strongly that employees should not come to work sick or injured.
As a reminder, employees who requested an increase in life insurance or made a first time request for short term/long term disability coverage during the 2003 benefits enrollment period must complete a statement of health form. The form can be found on Jetnet by selecting “benefits and pay” then “forms.” The form must be completed and sent to MetLife before January 31, 2003, or the employee file will be closed and the request will not be processed. To verify that the request has been processed, go to Jetnet and select “my benefits and dependents.” If the category shows “pending,” MetLife has not received the statement of health form. Questions regarding this process should be directed to Employees Services at 1-800-447-2000.
The APFA Hotel Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants that the deadline for submission of the 2002 APFA Hotel Survey is Tuesday, January 21, 2003. If you have not already completed the survey located on the APFA Web site Hotel Page or in the center section of Skyword, please do so. The information you provide will be very helpful when reviewing hotel properties in the future. The Hotel Department also wants to remind all Flight Attendants that in accordance with Article 7.L.2.d, page 77 and Article 21.E, pages 212-213 of the contract, if your wait for transportation to a layover hotel exceeds thirty minutes or the transportation is late arriving jeopardizing your eight hours behind the door, you may use a taxi. The company will reimburse the cost of the transportation.
Rapid response meetings have been scheduled for both St. Louis and Dallas/Ft. Worth. All American Airlines employees who have either been affected by or may be affected by reduction in force are invited and encouraged to attend one of these informative meetings. Information on unemployment insurance benefits, the current labor market, career counseling, and other services available for dislocated workers will be provided during the sessions.
The meetings in STL will be January 10th and 11th at 1000 and 1400 and January 17th at 1200 in the Joann Wayne Room at the STL Airport. For more information on this meeting, please contact the Division of Workforce Development at 1-800-877-8698 or visit the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site. The DFW meeting will be held at the American Airlines Learning Center on January 14th at 0900, 1030, 1300, and 1430 in Room F210. Information on both meetings can be found on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site.
In industry news:
Due to the fact American did not meet performance goals in 2002; six top American Airlines officials recently returned 82,800 shares of stock to the company. Among the shares returned were 37,000 from Don Carty, 13,000 from Chief Operating Officer Gerard Arpey and Executive Vice President Daniel Garton, 10,000 shares from general counsel Anne McNamara, 5,000 shares from senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Campbell, and 4,800 shares from corporate secretary Charles MarLett.
United Pilots, dispatchers, meteorologists, and Flight Attendants have voted to approve interim wage cuts. Pilots have agreed to a 29% reduction, dispatchers and meteorologist approved a 13% cut, and Flight Attendants consented to a 9% pay reduction. United has filed documents with the bankruptcy court saying that machinists “must be ordered” to take pay cuts similar to those taken by other work groups.
On January 4th, United announced that it would lay off nearly 1,700 white-collar and ticketing employees this month as part of cost cutting measures. In addition, the airline announced that it would reduce and/or eliminate food service in First, Business, and main cabin on many flights beginning January 7th.
Pilots at American Eagle conducted informational picketing in Miami and San Juan on January 9th and 10th to demonstrate their opposition to the proposed sale of American Eagle’s Miami and Caribbean operation.
Delta announced this week that it would layoff 4,000 workers by May of this year. The airline said that not enough employees were interested in the voluntary leave programs, and as a result, they would have to cut jobs. Reports out this week say that Delta will reduce service at its DFW hub. In addition, the reports say that the airline will use smaller jets on existing routes. Delta officials refused to confirm the reports.
For more information on the airline industry, please visit the “Aviation Industry News” page on the APFA Web site.
The APFA would like to extend its sympathies to the family, friends, and coworkers of the passengers and crew of US Airways Express Flight 5481, which crashed on takeoff from Charlotte on Wednesday.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest news, please visit the web site at www.www.apfa.org.