7.24.06 – (LAA) – AA Notifies APFA that Management Wished to Commence Collective Bargaining, Pension Reform

Today is Monday, July 24th. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President, with a special Hotline briefing.

On Friday, July 21st, American Airlines noticed the Allied Pilots Association (APA) that management wished to commence collective bargaining to make changes in rates of pay, rules and working conditions for the pilots. APA President Ralph Hunter has responded that APA will represent the interests of the AA pilots in areas of “compensation, job security, quality of life and gain-sharing.” Thus, one assumes 60 days from last Friday APA and management will exchange opening proposals and formal collective bargaining will begin between those parties.

With the APA contract open it joins the TWU-represented Dispatchers in active bargaining with AA. In May, 2006 the dispatch workgroup gave formal notice to management that it was their intent to begin collective bargaining. Transport Workers Union, has indicated they have no further interest in expanding negotiations with their remaining six contracts on AA’s property.

Now, what is APFA’s plan at this time? Let me make this perfectly clear. APFA has no interest in opening our Contract early. I remind our members that the current amendable date of the 2001 CBA, as modified in 2003, is May, 2008.

APFA’s governing law is quite specific regarding collective bargaining. Page 53 of the APFA Constitution Article X states that the forming of the APFA Negotiating Committee begins the process of preparing for the next round of negotiations. Members of the APFA “…Negotiating Committee, both elected and appointed, shall assume their duties simultaneously, no earlier than twelve (12) months and no later than six (6) months prior to the amendable date of the respective Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

I plan to address this process in more detail, in the fall Skyword. It is a long process of elections, appointments and subsequent training. I do say to each and every member of APFA, there has never been a more important time to have qualified, skilled, educated member negotiators. This next APFA team will of course also have professionals assisting, but the active rank and file team members will need to have history, experience, and specific background skills concerning both Flight Attendant contracts and the subjects we must protect. We have a varied and talented group of workers in our rank and file. It may be time for you, because of the specific skills you hold, to consider stepping forward and assisting your union – when the APFA Negotiating Committee forms in 2007. APFA represents career professionals and we intend to best represent the interests of the whole.

And now please stay on the line for the rest of last week’s APFA Hotline.

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, July 20, 2006.

AMR reported a profit this week of $291 million for the 2nd Quarter ’06 as compared with a profit of $58 million in the same quarter last year. This is the best Quarter AMR has seen in eight years, and the second profit reported in 22 months. American has contributed $149 million to the defined benefit pension plans since the first Quarter. AMR stated that if fuel had remained the same as last year’s 2nd Quarter prices, we could’ve posted a profit of $665 million. The cost of fuel is 31% of AMR’s operating costs and is now higher than employee wages, salaries and benefits.

Thanks to all of you that have written your Senators and Representative on the issue of Pension Reform. APFA continues to encourage Congress to support the Senate’s version of the bill, which includes protection for the future of our defined benefit plans. Please go to www.apfa.org and click on the link entitled Contact Congress Today re: Pension Reform to generate an automatic message via Capwiz to your elected officials. We are hopeful that Congress will finish the issue soon!

APFA.org is in the final stages of being unveiled to our members. In light of the many security breaches on Web sites throughout the Internet, APFA is taking extreme measures to ensure the integrity of our server to protect our members. In light of this, we will publish the new Web site as soon as these issues have been addressed.

Bankruptcy Watch: The union representing the Northwest Flight Attendants, AFA-CWA, reached a Tentative Agreement in bankruptcy yesterday ending – at least for now – the threat of seeing their current contract abrogated and concessions imposed. Details of the new T/A are not yet available. It is subject to approval by the Executive Council and if successful, will be put out to the members for a ratification vote. The NW Flight Attendants previously voted down their last T/A under bankruptcy by an overwhelming majority.

Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, July 18th, a barrel of crude oil cost $73.54, down .60 cents from last Wednesday’s price. The crack spread price was $13.27, up $5.89 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $92.70 – up $3.92 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.

One year ago July, the price of a barrel of crude was $59.03, and the crack-spread price was $10.73. The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $69.76, about $32 less than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.

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Please remember we have 3,895 APFA members on furlough and ten members serving the military full time. That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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