Hello, this is Denise Pointer with the InfoRep Hotline for Tuesday, August 8, 2006.
The Senate voted on August 3rd to pass H.R.4 – the pension bill that includes the airline provision. There were no amendments to the Bill and it is now on the President’s desk awaiting his signature in order to become law. The White House has stated it is in support of this bill. There was little debate and no opposition to the bill prior to the 93-5 vote. Senator Isakson proclaimed a victory for airline employees (DL and NW) and said he was committed to working with Senators Hutchison and Cornyn to address their concerns. He was referring to the disparate treatment given to American and Continental.
While AA did not get the more favorable time-limit terms given to DL and NW (frozen plans receive 17 years), we are far better off than where we were only a few months ago when there was little support for including the Senate airline provision in the final pension bill. AA fared better than non-airline corporations receiving ten years amortization as opposed to seven. But the greatest success for us is the inclusion of $1 billion in Deficit Reduction Credit (DRC) for two years. All airlines received DRC for the last two years but this new provision only applies to AA and CO. This could potentially be worth more to AA than the better terms DL and NW received.
The Contract Department would like to remind you that if you take a Leave of Absence for more than 30 days, you must make contributions in order to maintain your health benefits, prefunding and any other benefits/insurance you have elected. You should receive a Leave of Absence Rules and Instructions letter in the mail shortly after your Leave begins. However, to avoid any disruption or cancellation of benefits you can immediately locate this letter on Jetnet's Leave of Absence section. Please contact Employee Services at 800-447-2000 if there is any doubt as to whether your Leave requires contributions, as well as the total amount of those contributions and deadlines to submit payment. You can also Live Chat with Employee Services from the link on Jetnet.
From the Scheduling Department – AA announced last week that BOS-I will lose the DUB/SNN flying to IOR. IOR will operate DUB with the SNN leg. There will only be one flight that operates from IOR that serves both DUB and SNN.
AA just announced it will discontinue service between DFW and Osaka, Japan effective October 27th. AA attributed this cut to the price of fuel and "significant losses."
From the Hotel Department – Many F/As have been asking about another fire "incident." This time it took place at the Forum in London. This information was obtained from the general manager of the hotel. An AA crewmember placed a pizza in the microwave oven and left it to cook unattended despite signs in place asking people to stay while they are using the microwave. The pizza overcooked, caught fire, causing extensive smoke, which then in turn caused the fire alarms to go off. This resulted in the evacuation of 1,200 guests and a large expense associated with this type of evacuation. The hotel is installing CCTV cameras in the kitchenette so that this area is monitored in the future. Again – please encourage your fellow crewmembers to be careful when playing with fire!
Upcoming Hotel Reviews for this month are RSW, TPA, BGI, and FCO. DUB and SNN will be done in September. No new layover hotels have been announced since the last InfoRep Hotline was published.
Q: Has APFA signed a deal with AA that would keep Flight Attendants from retiring until they are 65.
One F/A asked whether APFA had anything to do with the Marriott chain going all non-smoking. Wish we had that type of influence with the Marriott, but no, they made that decision all on their own.
F/As are inquiring about whether staffing will be reduced on the 757/767 Hawaii flights. The Company has told us that they have no plans to reduce staffing on these flights at this time.
And finally, the answer to the questions about APFA going into early openers with AA is NO. No. No. No.
The InfoRep Program needs more member volunteers. The best way to recruit your friends and colleagues is to print this hotline out and carry it with you. Explain to them that being an InfoRep means being informed, and then committing to passing along accurate information in the galley. Visit www.www.apfa.org and complete the signup form on the home page. It's that simple.
That's it for this week. Thanks for all you do for the InfoRep Program.