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11.22.06 – (LAA) – Holiday Staffing Tests, Cabin Jumpseats, US Airways Issues Hotle Bid for Delta Airlines

This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President, with an APFA Hotline update for Wednesday, November 22, 2006.

November has become synonymous with the AA Flight Attendants’ struggle for respect and equality on this property. Our historic strike ended November 22, 1993, and it is certainly ironic that 13 years later we are still being forced to fight for respect and equality in the workplace.

All squabbles aside, we have much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving eve. We have made it through conflict after conflict in our rich history and as we look around the industry, we can say with certainty that our glass is half full as opposed to those of so many of our fellow airline workers.

Thousands of our own furloughed FAs and other airline workers are out of jobs or have been stripped of valuable benefits and left without pensions. Although many of us will spend Thanksgiving in the air away from our homes and families, we must also remember the men and women serving overseas and wish for their safe and happy return to loved ones.

At APFA, we have chosen to be in control of our own destiny. The path has not been an easy one. At times we have been collaborative and other times we have been forced into battle, but in the end, thankfully, the decision is ours.

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our collective strength. We have learned by experience, that when our members choose to stand together, nothing can get in our way and we will prevail.

Now, please stay on the line for the rest of this week’s Hotline. Leslie…

Thanks Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the remainder of today’s Hotline.

APFA News: Just a reminder about the Holiday Staffing Tests in effect today, including International to Domestic and vice versa for Option II trips and Reserve Trip Trading through the contractual month of December. Please visit and click on Letters of Agreement, then Scheduling Letters of Agreement – 6.27.06.

Again, all FAs, particularly those flying into and out of Miami and Chicago through the end of the year, should confirm that your manuals are up-to-date and that you are carrying all required safety equipment!

The APFA IOD Department’s voicemail is still experiencing difficulties. If you have not received a response after leaving a message on extension 8303, APFA IOD Department, please follow up with an email to

As most of you are aware, on November 16, 2006, APA proposed to AA, among other things, the use of Cabin Jumpseats. This proposal, which was brought forth in exchange for APA’s exemption to fly Beijing, has generated a good deal of consternation among the workgroups. APFA would like to ensure that our members have the facts. The following is an excerpt from APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake’s response to Ralph Hunter, APA President. You may go to the APFA Web site to review all of the documents related to this proposal by APA as well as APFA’s response.

…concerning APA’s desire to ‘negotiate’ the FA cabin jumpseat authority for pilots as outlined in your November 16, 2006, proposal to Mark Burdette, this said letter clearly requests a boarding priority protocol in order to begin “to rebuild the historic prestige of our profession.” As one of your Board has expressed in his formal communication to his domicile, APA is seeking “to regain the recognition of our position and return the boarding protocol back to what used to be a normal procedure here at American before management’s campaign to make all employees equal.” [underscore added]

President Hutto-Blake goes on to say, ìAPA’s proposal advances the concept of elitism and separateness, pitting our organizations against each other. In one person’s opinion, APA and APFA need to be working together to make certain that our employer is still standing after this next wave of airline consolidation. We certainly don’t need to be battling over the FA cabin jumpseat which entered the AA FA Agreement in 1976, and remains there today. I realize you were not on the property in 1976, I was. I personally experienced this history as a union leader and advocate.

Unfortunately, if we don’t resolve this quickly we will end up ultimately on opposite sides of the table from one another arguing our separate positions. This would not be in the best interest of APA, APFA, or the members we both represent.”

Please visit and click on National Officers, then Cabin Jumpseats to read this and other documents related to this subject.

Bankruptcy Watch: Last week, US Airways issued a hostile bid of $8.8 billion for Delta Airlines. This could mark the beginning of consolidation in the industry. On Monday, Delta ran a full-page ad in its local paper assuring the public that it is committed to remaining a solo airline. On another note, Continental Airlines CEO announced today, on the heels of US Airways’ bid for Delta, that they would not be opposed to a merger.

Comair’s Flight Attendants approved their Tentative Agreement that includes a 7 1/2 percent pay cut with partial snapbacks at the end of four years. The new contract includes almost $8 million in givebacks. The pilots’ union, however, may call for a strike authorization vote shortly. Comair has asked the bankruptcy judge to abrogate their contract and impose $15.8 million in cost cuts.

Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, November 21st, a barrel of crude oil cost $60.17, up $1.59 from last Monday’s price. The crack spread price was $15.35, up $3.79 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $75.52 – up $5.38 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.

The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago November was $71.02 – about $4 less than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.

Please remember that we have 2,654 APFA members still on furlough.

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That’s it for this week. APFA will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday of this week. Headquarters will open at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on Monday. If you need APFA assistance, please call the Officer on Duty (OOD) by dialing 817.540.0108, and following the prompts for the OOD. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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Fax: (817) 540-2077


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