This is APFA President John Ward. Today is Thursday, July 3.
Yesterday, the Company proceeded to furlough an additional 3,123 flight attendants. This brings the total number of American Airlines flight attendants furloughed since November of 2001 to 6,150. That’s just a staggering number of our members affected by the post 9/11 downsizing of our Company. To put it somewhat more into perspective, that’s more than the number of flight attendants than are currently flying at USAir! For those of you affected by these reductions, please know APFA looks forward to welcoming you back and we wish you well during your time away. Please remember to consult the “Furlough Page” of the APFA web site as it contains information of value to those furloughed.
During the month of June, APFA scheduled base meetings at each flight attendant base city. I attended each of these meetings and was accompanied by one or more of the other APFA National Officers and a member of our Negotiating Committee. The attendance at these meetings was respectable and I welcomed the opportunity to speak with so many of you concerning both the events of the last several months and the issues we face in the future. I came away from these visits inspired that our Union, despite the upheaval caused as a result of the Company’s near bankruptcy and all that has occurred in the last two years, will rebound. We will be prepared to face what is still a very uncertain future. Flight Attendants realize the only way to do that is to stay unified.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. Please stay on the line for the rest of this week’s message.
Thursday, July 3, 2003
Hello. Today is Thursday, July 3, 2003. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
On Tuesday, American Airlines put out a press release saying that it would soon announce decisions that would strengthen its network and enhance the efficiency of its operations. The Company’s press release did not indicate when this announcement would be made. American said that among the things that are being reviewed at this time were maintenance facilities, reservations offices, performance of key routes, space it occupies at major airports, and the structure of its hubs in DFW, STL, and ORD. The Company has not provided the APFA with any definitive details as of this time. We will update the HotLine when an announcement is made which includes details of the Company plan and how such plan may affect Flight Attendants.
Flight Attendants furloughed effective July 2 should be aware that American is requiring that all Company equipment be returned within seven (7) days of the last day worked (July 1). American will rescind pass privileges of those Flight Attendants who do not comply with this deadline for a period of thirty days past the date they actually turn in the required items. The Company will allow Flight Attendants to turn in these items at the base city nearest to them instead of having to travel to their respective bases.
Furloughed Flight Attendants are reminded that the APFA Web site “Furlough Page” has a great deal of information including links to government agencies, job search sites, and job opportunities. Direct links to each state’s unemployment offices can be found on the Furlough page under “Resources” and then “Government Resources.”
If you or someone you know are aware of any job opportunities or resources that would be of interest to any of our furloughed members, please send the information to Communications@apfa.org.
On Monday, June 30th, the Federal District Court in New York denied the motion of the former TWA Flight Attendants for an injunction on their July 2nd furloughs. The Court determined that the former TWA Flight Attendants could not satisfy any of the three standards that they would have to meet to justify an award of an injunction: (1) they could not demonstrate that they will be irreparably harmed if an injunction is not granted; (2) they could not demonstrate that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims against APFA and the Company; and (3) they could not demonstrate that the balance of hardships weighed in their favor. The complete text of the judge’s ruling can be found on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
Ballots to determine whether to keep the Underfly provision as it is stated in the Restructuring Agreement or select one of two other alternatives is due in the designated Post Office Box by 0900 Central Daylight Time on Friday, July 11, 2003. The complete contract language of each of the options is included on the ballot. Additional educational information including explanations of each option and samples of trips as they may be constructed under duty rigs included in options 2 and 3 can be found on the APFA Web site. If you have not received your ballot, please contact the APFA National Ballot Committee at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8311 to request a duplicate. Results of the balloting will be announced on this HotLine on Friday evening, July 11th.
APFA continues to receive calls regarding the Flight Attendant overages associated with options 2 and 3. Option 2 has an estimated overage of 208 and option 3 has an estimated overage of 309 Flight Attendants. If the membership elects either option and an overage results, the Company must provide the APFA and Flight Attendants “subject to” reduction in force with a 60-day written warning. They must also offer Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying in accordance with Article 16 in order to help mitigate the overages prior to any furlough.
APFA members have questioned whether guarantees are protected under the provisions of Option 3. The guarantee for Reserves and Replacement Flight Attendants is protected. Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants will have the ability to make up the difference in the time paid at the flat rate and the original amount of their trip provided there are enough days remaining in the contractual month to do so and make up is available. However, sick make up only puts time back in your sick time and will not protect your guarantee.
Beginning July 8, 2003, all customers must be seated and ALL electronic devices must be turned off before Flight Attendant Number 1/Purser indicates that the cabin is in fact ready for movement on the surface. In light of American’s recent announcement that customers will be allowed to use cell phones longer while at the gate, the APFA Safety Department encourages all Flight Attendants to review American’s cabin ready procedures.
From the APFA Hotel Department: A new short layover hotel has been selected for London-Heathrow. Information on this new layover hotel can be found on the APFA Web site “Hotel Page” in the “secure members” only section.
In the rumor mill: The language in Article 16 of the Contract regarding forced transfers of Flight Attendants into a base where a shortage exists was not part of the Restructuring Agreement. This language has been in the Contract for over two decades.
Also, news reports on the furlough of 3,123 American Airlines Flight Attendants this week led some to believe these furloughs were a new round of furloughs. These are furloughs announced in May that actually took effect on July 2, 2003. APFA has not been given any information by the Company on any additional furloughs.
As part of the Restructuring Agreement, the Flight Attendant employee group will be provided with AMR stock options. The APFA Board of Directors voted on May 29th to equally distribute the 6,780,520 shares designated for Flight Attendants to Flight Attendants on active status or an approved leave as of April 17, 2003. This equates to 292 shares for each eligible Flight Attendant. The Company is planning to provide each employee with an overview of the stock option soon. Information on the stock plan can be found on the APFA Web site under “Hot Topics” and “AAL/APFA Restructuring Agreement.”
Crew Schedule has notified the APFA that order of open time coverage is up to steps 7, 8, and 9 in all bases due to a lack of reserve coverage. The steps include Step 7-Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants at the base in reverse order of seniority provided, however, there is no conflict with his/her scheduled duty-free period; Step 8-Reserve Flight Attendants on scheduled duty-free period; and Step 9-Regularly scheduled Flight Attendants on a duty-free period, in reverse order of seniority. All Flight Attendants should be aware that Crew Schedule may, in accordance with Article 9.L and Article I.9.L, fill open time by contacting Flight Attendants who fall into the above categories.
The APFA will change servers for our web site and bulletin board on Tuesday, July 8th. As we have previously reported, we are not anticipating any disruption during the transition. Although the enhancements will be modest, those who regularly visit the site and use the bulletin board will notice the changes. Due to the fact we will be changing the entire format of the APFA bulletin board and moving to a new server, all posts on the site at the time of the changeover will be deleted.
We continue to have problems with rule violations regarding posts to the APFA Bulletin Board. Many members have complained that the lack of decorum and personal attacks has caused them to stop using the bulletin board altogether. This is unacceptable. Adherence to the rules governing posts will be strictly enforced. Those violating the rules will be warned and their posts removed. Members warned more than once will have their access to the board restricted. Please remember that we are all adults and professionals. Only members in good standing of the APFA can post to the bulletin board.
In Industry News:
American Airlines announced its June traffic results on Tuesday. The airline reported a June load factor of 78.8 percent, up 3.6 points from the same time a year ago. The systemwide capacity was down 7.7% from June 2002. Domestic traffic was down 4.1% on a capacity decrease of 9.4% and international traffic was down 1.0% with a capacity decrease of 3.2% compared to June 2002. Revenue passenger miles were down 2.3% year over year.
American said this week that it had reached a deal worth nearly $219 million to sell its equity stake in Worldspan, which it owned jointly with Delta and Northwest. American acquired a 26% interest in Worldspan when it acquired TWA assets in 2001.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in New York denied an injunction request by the members of the Transport Workers Union to block their concession deal with American. In the ruling, Judge Preska said that workers failed to meet the standards for a preliminary injunction, including showing that without the injunction they would suffer irreparable harm.
Air Tran Airways said this week that it would purchase 100 Boeing 737s and 10 Boeing 717s in a deal worth $6 billion. The airline expects to double its fleet by 2008. The new aircraft will allow Air Tran to expand into markets it does not currently serve.
Delta told its Pilots this week it is seeking a 22% pay cut, cancellation of pay raises scheduled to go into effect over the next year, and reduce benefits as part of a concession package from the Pilot group. The airline also wants to rescind a 4.5% pay raise that went into effect in May. Although ALPA, the union representing Delta Pilots, does not support the company’s proposal, it is willing to work with Delta to formulate a cost-reduction plan.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site for the latest news and past editions of the APFA Hotline.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Friday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. An Officer on Duty will be available to take emergency calls. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate department or representative the next business day. Have a safe 4th of July.
Remember, there are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.