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6.01.06 – (LAA/LUS) – Pension Reform, Northwest FA Right to Choose Representation, Inoperative Crew Bunks

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, June 1, 2006. We have 3,949 members on furlough and 10 members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.
Last week, APFA issued a press release regarding the Executive Committee’s Resolution stating that APFA is no longer participating in the Performance Leadership Initiative as it was presented by AA at a recent Town Hall Meeting. Active discussions related to APFA’s concerns will continue Friday between the parties and we will keep you updated.
On Monday, APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake recorded a Hotline update outlining the importance of contacting your Senators and Representative this week regarding Pension Reform and the inclusion of the Senate’s version of the Bill in the final language. This version includes language that will provide protection for the future of our defined benefit plans. There is still time to email or call your Congressperson during the Memorial Day Recess at their home office by clicking on the link from the front page of the APFA Web site entitled Pension Reform Conference Report. For more information on the importance of the airline provision in the pension reform bill, please visit the APFA Web site .

APFA News:  APFA issued the following press release Wednesday:


Euless, TX (May 30, 2006)—Responding to the recent ruling of an AFL-CIO subcommittee to limit the Northwest Flight Attendants’ choice of representation, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) issued the following statement:
“First of all, our hearts go out to the Northwest Flight Attendants who are weathering a
multi-crisis that can only be called the perfect storm.  Not only are they in the gut-wrenching throes of voting for a restructured contract in bankruptcy, they must also make serious decisions regarding their future representation.
On the heels of the contract vote, there will be two concurrent ballotings: the NMB election between their own independent union, PFAA, and CWA-AFA, and a constitutional referendum to affiliate with TWU as unanimously recommended by the entire PFAA leadership.
We, at APFA, take issue with the obvious fact that the AFL-CIO ruling has seemingly ignored the recommendation of the current collective bargaining agent for the Northwest Flight Attendants.

Of utmost concern is that the Northwest Flight Attendants participate in all of the elections, as there is a real risk of being de-certified and being left with no union or labor representation at all during a most critical time in their history.  In conformance with the federal labor rules, 50% plus one must vote in the NMB election or the Northwest Flight Attendants will have no union certified.”
As we announced last week, the FAA is expected to be spot checking In-Flight Safety Manuals in Miami and possibly other locations. Please be sure your manuals are up to date. Also, U.S Agriculture is imposing fines of up to $500 for bringing fruit and other food not allowed into the U.S. from International destinations as well as Hawaii and the Caribbean. Repeat offenders face penalties of up to $50,000. Refer to your Safety Manual, Section: Forms/Contacts 3.2 Customs, Immigration and Agriculture Regulations of the Country of Entry for details.
Recently, APFA met with the 777 Fleet Manager and members of the engineering team to review issues related to crew bunk heater malfunctions. Flight Service and Employee Relations also participated. Engineering is tracking the write-ups to determine the root cause of the problem. In reviewing the data by individual aircraft, engineering has been able to rule out some of the potential problems and is focusing on temperature sensors and air flow within the bunks. Please remind everyone on your crew to avoid blocking any airflow within the bunks as this may be contributing to the malfunctions. It was clear from this meeting that the engineers understood the importance of our crew rest and will continue to reduce and hopefully eliminate heater malfunctions.
Discussions also took place to determine a better method of notifying Passenger Service when a Crew Bunk is inoperative so that they can comply with the letter in App. I. Art. 30. on page 557 of our Contract which addresses the Procedure for Significant Malfunction for Crew Bunks. Maintenance has already implemented a procedure to place an inoperative placard next to the temperature control in the bunks if the heater is inoperative. If you notice this placard when you board the aircraft, please be sure the agents are aware that the bunks are inoperative.
The APFA Hotel Department has received your comments on the new hotel transportation system at LAX – specifically relating to the amount of travel time from the terminal to the hotel. Upon speaking with the transportation authorities at LAX, we have learned that this new system was planned prior to 9/11 then postponed due to security issues. Now that it is complete, the system is experiencing some growing pains.
As a result of your write-ups, AA has been advised that the following steps are being implemented by the LAX transportation authorities to assist with these delays:
First, more than a dozen new drivers have been hired, all of whom will have completed training by June 1, 2006. Once they are trained in the field, pick up times will become regulated. Hotel staff will be in contact with the transportation company to resolve any issues crewmembers may have and kiosks will be installed and display van times and locations at hotels and the airport pick-up locations.
Please keep the hotel department apprised of these enhancements by emailing us at .
APFA’s Retirement Specialist Jill Frank Smoak and a company representative will be in Los Angeles for two Flight Attendant-specific retirement sessions on June 13th. The first session will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the second session at 11:15 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the LAX MOD at 310.215.7022. The 11:15 a.m. session is fully booked, however, there is still space available in the 9:00 a.m. session. Both sessions will be held in the Flight Service Training Room. Don’t forget to go to JETNET and print out and bring with you your Personal Pension Estimate and your Plan Calculation Formulas found on the Benefits page. There will be a third session open to all groups beginning at 2:30 in the Apollo Room at LAX.

We would like to remind Flight Attendants again this week that if you are considering resigning from the company, please remember that the stock options granted under the 2003 Broad Based Stock Option Plan must be exercised prior to your effective date of resignation. Any options not exercised prior to your separation date will be cancelled. Options are retained until the expiration date if you retire or take Article 30. If you resign between the ages of 50 and 55 in order to be eligible for the company’s 50-55 policy, please note the company still considers this a resignation and unexercised options will be cancelled.

Bankruptcy Watch: The PBGC has objected to the Tentative Agreement under bankruptcy between Delta Airlines and its pilots. A group of retired Delta pilots are also opposed to the deal and claim they should have been part of the decision making. If the PBGC ends up taking over the plan, the pilots’ retirement will be greatly reduced due to the deep under funding of their defined benefit plan by the airline. The PBGC guarantees $47,659 for full retirees, but less than $31,000 for those that retire at age 60 – the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots.

Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, May 30th, a barrel of crude oil cost $72.03, up .27 cents from last Tuesday’s price. The crack spread price was $16.00, up .10 cents from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $88.03 – up .37 cents from the price of jet fuel last week.

One year ago May, the price of a barrel of crude was $49.87, and the crack spread price was $11.86. The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $61.73, $26 less than the price of a barrel today.

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That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.

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