This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, October 5, 2006.
As we stated in last week’s hotline, APFA lost 867 American Airlines Flight Attendants from the AA/APFA Seniority list due to the five-year recall language in Article 16. On Saturday, October 7th, APFA will lose 289 more of our members who have been on furlough since October of 2001. As we also stated last week and many times prior to that, the Company is not willing to discuss the provisions of extending recall rights outside of opening up our entire contract and subjecting all our members to even more concessions. APFA continues to seek a solution for extending recall rights for all our members outside of Section 6 contract negotiations – negotiations that are not scheduled to commence until and in accordance with the amendable date of 2008. AA has given APFA no indication of recalls in the foreseeable future.
APFA News: In U.S. District Court last week, Judge Guzman dismissed the lawsuit that charged AA and APFA with age discrimination relating to the 2001 Seniority Integration Agreement (SIA) and the resulting furloughs. This brings the total number of cases heard and subsequently dismissed in U.S. District Court on the SIA to two. There will be an update in the winter Skyword of all lawsuits filed since the 2001 Seniority Integration Agreement and the 2003 Restructuring Agreement.
From the Health Department: Once again, APFA is reminding members to take extra care when selecting your health benefits during the enrollment period that began Sunday and continues through the 31st of October. APFA has filed several Presidential Grievances against American Airlines relating to health benefit changes this year. As a result of the Restructuring Agreement, Attachment K was incorporated into the Contract making the Standard PPO Plan (also known as the 80/20 Plan) contractual. The Point of Service Plan, however, is not contractual for any of the workgroups on AA’s property. The Company claims they have a unilateral right to reduce or alter benefits within this Plan simply by notice to Plan members; however, APFA disagrees.
All APFA members should be aware that if you select the POS Plan for 2007, you may be incurring extra out-of-pocket costs that will be borne by you as a result of your selection. You may change your elections anytime during the enrollment period, however, once benefits enrollment ends, no alteration to your election is possible unless there is an occurrence of a life-changing event.
From the Scheduling Department: The unlimited Option II test AA recently implemented in some bases will end at IDF and DFW on Oct 1st and in IOR and ORD October 31. Through October, Option II flying will be open at Chicago Domestic and Int’l every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and as needed for any other day of the month. As a reminder, AA maintains the right to open Option II flying as needed.
Crew Schedule has agreed to continue the test of the expansion of the Average Daily Utilization Range (ADUR) buffer. This buffer is intended to facilitate Reserve Preferences be honored. Rather than the current range of plus or minus six hours in order for Reserve Preferences to be considered, preferences will now be honored within a range of plus or minus 25 hours for the first 15 days of each of the next six contractual months, beginning October 1. APFA is hopeful that this will allow many more of you to be awarded your Reserve Preferences.
APFA and AA have agreed to offer Reserve Trip Trade for the entire month of December. We are giving everyone plenty of notice in advance to plan for trading your Reserve trips in December.
From the Communications Department: The fall issue of Skyword has been mailed and should arrive at your address on file with APFA shortly. It includes a Comparison Guide of Flight Attendant Contracts industry-wide, which is designed to fit into your On-Duty Contract Guide. APFA Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson compiled all of the information from the labor unions representing each of the airlines. For those airlines whose cabin crews are non-labor, best efforts were made to verify the data with that airline’s management, however, our efforts went unnoticed. APFA will be sharing this document with each of our sister unions in an effort to strengthen the position of the Flight Attendant career. Just like American Airlines belongs to a group of airline consultants comparing how far labor can be pushed, so will APFA continue to work together with our fellow Flight Attendant unions to educate each other and fortify our positions.
In the center section of Skyword, there is a mistake in the Base Representative contact sheet for LGA Vice Chair. Please take note that the LGA Vice Chair is Alan Montana. Members can locate his phone number by going to www.apfa.org, then clicking on Base Pages, Domestic, then LGA.
From the Hotel Department: upcoming hotel reviews in October are scheduled for San Jose (Costa Rica – SJO), Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS), St. Thomas (STT), San Salvador (SAL) and Mexico City (MEX). Please go to www.apfa.org and click on Departments, then Hotel to email APFA’s Hotel Department
Industry News: The House passed its version of the Wright Amendment Bill. The measure has already passed the Senate and awaits the President’s signature. This new law will eliminate the restrictions on flying out of Dallas Love Field after eight years and impose a cap of 20 gates.
Fuel Watch: As of Thursday, October 3rd, a barrel of crude oil cost $58.68, down $4.28 from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $14.98, down $2.36 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $58.68 – down $6.64 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.
The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $100.24, about $40 more than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.
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That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.