This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Wednesday, August 23, 2006.
APFA News: APFA would like to thank those of you who took time to relay your experiences through airport security following the liquid ban, as well as the (recently lifted) crewmember luggage ban in the U.K. We would like to re-direct these messages to another email address where our InfoRep Coordinator, Denise Pointer, will be gathering this information for our lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Please email your experiences with the TSA – whether you’re a commuter, deadheading F/A or working the trip – as it relates to these new restrictions. Crew members, all of whom have endured fingerprinting and background checks following 9/11, should be viewed as part of the solution not part of the problem. That email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rumor Control: Several Flight Attendants found a link online to a job interview claiming to be hiring American Airlines Flight Attendants in the Miami area. There was a similar job posting that appeared in The Miami Herald. The question posed was, “How can AA be hiring when we still have furloughs?” Answer: They can’t. After contacting management, AA has told us that neither they nor American Eagle authorized the placement of these ads. AA contacted the Miami Herald who reported that a false name and invalid credit card number were used to generate this ad. AA Corporate Security is currently investigating this issue.
Another F/A asked APFA whether the base of STL was closing in January. After confirming with management, AA says they have no plans to close the STL base at this time.
Industry News: American is applying for the only DFW-Beijing route offered next year. The competition is heating up and the benefits for our workgroup in a highly-desirable new route would be ten-fold. Please take a moment to visit www.flytochinaonaa.com. There you will find a link to the Secretary of the DOT where you can send a message in support of our securing this new route. If we are successful, the flying will begin out of Dallas/Ft. Worth on March 25th of next year.
Bankruptcy Watch: Two particularly interesting events took place last week, both relating to bankrupt Northwest Airlines. The first was the Bankruptcy Judge’s decision to deem the Northwest Flight Attendants’ right to strike as legal if a contract is not reached by August 25th. Northwest Airlines had filed an injunction to prohibit a strike in the event an agreement had not been reached. Northwest abrogated the contract between the Flight Attendants and the company following a “NO” vote on the most recent T/A reached by AFA-CWA (Communication Workers of America), the union now representing the NW F/As. Management then imposed a contract that included 40% in pay cuts and the slashing of other work rules and benefits. An elongated strike could cause Northwest Airlines to liquidate; however, Northwest says it has a contingency plan in place in the event the Flight Attendants do strike. The Flight Attendants have threatened to begin a job action at 9pm Friday night, but a bankruptcy judge will hear Northwest Airlines’ appeal on this issue earlier that day in a last ditch effort to prevent a strike.
The second event of great significance has to do with the extraordinary/above and beyond detachment between upper management and the employees of Northwest Airlines, some of whom are soon to be left without jobs. Northwest published and began distributing a book that included a list of “101 Ways to Save Money.” On this list were suggestions for the about-to-be-laid-off employees such as creating your own holiday cards and gifts rather than buying them, borrowing a dress for “a big night out,” securing prescription drug samples from your doctor, and dumpster diving, or as the list advises, “Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.” Sixty pamphlets went out containing this list before Northwest began receiving complaints and removed it from the pamphlet it is distributing to NW employees.
Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, August 22, a barrel of crude oil cost $72.63, down $3.68 from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $18.27, up $5.62 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $90.90 – up $4.72 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.
One year ago August, the price of a barrel of crude was $64.99, and the crack-spread price was $13.70. The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $78.69, about $17 less than the price of one barrel of jet fuel today.
We have 3,882 APFA members on furlough. Of those 3,882 Flight Attendants, more than 1,100 including original AA F/As and former TWA F/As – all APFA members – are scheduled to fall off the American Airlines F/A Seniority List in October of this year due to the five-year language in Article 16. With the 46 aircraft parked in the desert or returned to the leaser, route cuts and Leave of Absence proffers granted through the end of 2006, management has noticed APFA that no recalls are in the foreseeable future. Please keep all of our furloughed members in your thoughts as well as our ten members serving full time in the military.
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That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.
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