Hello. This is Denise Pointer with an InfoRep Hotline message for Thursday, July 27, 2006.
Things have been busy in Washington D.C. lately. I will bring you up to speed on some important issues on the legislative front:
On July 11, 2006, APFA announced the findings of a US Congressionally-mandated study on flight attendant fatigue in the US airline industry. Guess what – the study found we are fatigued! This scientifically-produced report validates our concerns that current FAA minimum crew rest regulations for Flight Attendants may not allow adequate rest. The report offers very specific suggestions in order for this research to continue.
This week, the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee agreed to insert $500,000 to further study flight attendant fatigue. Although the FAA just released the previous fatigue report, the Subcommittee was able to include money just as the bill was going for a vote in subcommittee and full committee last week. The bill language directs CAMI to further study the fatigue report recommendations (see the full report at www.www.apfa.org. APFA was instrumental in getting the additional funding and is very appreciative that the committee took swift action to include it in their bill. The Senate Transportation Appropriations bill passed out of committee on July 20 and will next go to the Senate floor for a vote.
With regards to Pension Reform, many believe that the pension conference report will finally be resolved this week. This is the last week before the House leaves for its August recess. Time on the House floor schedule is reserved at the end of this week to vote on this conference report. The Senate will be in session the first week in August and is scheduled to vote on the conference report then. Stay tuned!
As reported also last week via an InfoRep Email blast, Washington, DC: Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, succeeded in inserting in the Homeland Security authorization bill a provision to restore the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ban on razor-sharp scissors and other weapon-usable objects in the passenger cabins of commercial airliners. The full text of this press release can be found on the InfoRep page of APFA's Web site.
Last week was a busy one with several important news stories breaking late in the week. From record setting heat all over the country to power outages on the East and West Coasts, the weather wrecked havoc on many of our lives. Some of you are still without power in Queens.
On Thursday, July 20, 2006, AMR reported a profit 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.
Also on Thursday, July 20, 2006, AA announced it filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to operate daily nonstop service between DFW and China's Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). If approved, this new service will begin in March 2007.
On Friday, July 21, 2006, AA served a Section 6 Notice on APA leadership indicating they are going to exercise the option to begin contract negotiations early. A Section 6 Notice has a 60-day timeline. If you would like to read APA President Ralph Hunter's hotline where he discusses this news go to www.alliedpilots.org.
As you can imagine, this move by AA put the Flight Attendant rumor mill into high gear. It is important to remember that as an InfoRep, you have the responsibility to share accurate information with your colleagues.
In accordance with APFA's Constitution, collective bargaining has a structured process. The first step is electing and appointing the next in order Negotiating Team. At this time the first step of this process will not begin until 2007. In a statement earlier this week, APFA President Hutto Blake said: 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.
From the Contract Department: Please continue to make us aware anytime you experience a flight with an inoperative crew bunk area on the 777. Email the flight number, date, aircraft number to [email protected]. Also include whether alternate seats were provided per the Significant Malfunction Procedures letter on p.557 of the Contract. You can also provide this information by contacting the Contract Department at 817-540-0108 ext. 8271.
From the Hotel Department – The Ripa Hotel in FCO has recently notified APFA/APA and AA that they are now a 100% non-smoking hotel. Additionally, the Marriott Corporation announced last week that beginning September 1, 2006, more than 2,300 properties in North American and Canada will become "Smoke Free". This will affect all Marriott lodging brands, i.e. Courtyards, Fairfield Inns, Renaissance, etc. This new no smoking policy will affect many domestic layovers. As has been stated before on several hotlines, this trend is moving full steam ahead. Be prepared to see the remainder of major hotel brands follow suit.
We have new short layover hotels in BOS and BWI. Effective immediately, we will be moving to the Sheraton Four Points at both locations. We moved last week to the Marriott Gateway in DEN and recently moved to the Doubletree at EWR for all short layovers. Our new DFW long layover begins at the end of this week. That move will be to the Crown Plaza near the Galleria.
Upcoming hotel reviews are scheduled for San Francisco (long), Tampa, Fort Myers and Nashville. Remember, you can express your opinions about layover hotels at www.www.apfa.org by clicking on Department, then Hotel.
The InfoRep program needs volunteers. Please recruit your colleagues and ask them to join by going to APFA's Web site and clicking on the link entitled: Become An InfoRep on the home page.
That's it for this month! Thanks for all you do for the InfoRep Program.