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1.12.07 – (LAA) – Presidential Grievances, Bankruptcy Watch

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 12, 2007.

Last week, APFA’s Hotline addressed the most recent unilateral changes the Company made to Article 35 and reminded the membership of the previously-filed Presidential Grievances that will confront these changes. In short, senior management has attempted to create an artificial separation between Active and Retired FAs (covered in Article 35 of the CBA) resulting in our Retirees paying more for health care under our negotiated Standard Medical Plan. APFA firmly believes that these changes are in violation of the negotiated terms of our Agreement.

APFA met with senior management this week in an attempt to resolve these multi-layered active disputes. These discussions are ongoing and we will keep you posted with any updates. If a resolution cannot be reached between APFA and management, we will seek a decision through an arbitrator.

On a very important note, APFA would like to thank all current and retired members who have contacted senior management over this very important issue. We believe that your passion and resolve over these disputes could make a difference in the outcome.

As many of you have discovered, Second-Stage SABRE has not been operating correctly this week. The Company believes the problems have been resolved but will continue to monitor SABRE to be sure.

HISEND requests will now be accepted for Pursers requesting trip trades with Open Time by using the generic form for your base. If the trade is processed on the day of the request, the trade is considered confirmed. If the trade is not processed that day, that means that it was considered but was not granted based on the current staffing or holiday coverage. Please contact if you have questions about this.

Once again, the APFA Annual Board of Directors Convention will convene on February 8, 2007, in Chicago at the Embassy Suites Hotel on 600 N. State Street. All members in good standing are welcome to attend. The Annual Awards Dinner is the evening of February 8. Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 after February 3rd and at the door. Contact Kim Ramos at to make your dinner reservations. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bait and Switch and Nickel and Dimed, will be our keynote speaker. Ms. Ehrenreich is one of the finest public commentators of our time. An excerpt of Barabara’s upcoming book is featured in the current MS Magazine showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the cover. Jill Frank Smoak, APFA’s first retirement specialist and outspoken activist on pension reform, will be honored by the APFA leadership during this event. Again, all members are invited to be a part of this important evening.

One final reminder that the Willingness-to-Serve forms for APFA Base Chair, Vice Chair and Operational Council Representatives (OCRs) are due in the designated PO Box by 1000 Central Standard Time on January 17, 2007. Willingness forms for Ad Hoc are due in the designated PO Box by 1000 Central on January 31st. Flight Attendants interested in running for any of these positions should indicate the position desired on the line designated for ìslate information.î Any questions about this process should be directed to the National Ballot Committee, ext. 8311.

The Hotel Department is requesting feedback from JFK and IOR FAs on behalf of the LHR short layover hotel regarding its “service levels.” If you would like to respond, please send an email to and include your name, employee number, dates of your stay and any details you would like to provide.

Bankruptcy Watch: A mediator has been hired to assist Delta’s subsidiary Comair and its pilots represented by ALPA, negotiate a deal. Comair is in bankruptcy and it claims that in order to emerge from bankruptcy, it will need to secure wage cuts and work rule changes to the tune of nearly $16 million annually.

Northwest Airlines has made a proposal to purchase Mesaba Airlines for stock making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of NW Airlines. Part of this deal will include payment to Mesaba’s creditors in the amount of $145 million plus about $10 million in cash. Mesaba is owned by MAIR Holdings, Inc. who has yet to respond to this offer, however, several shareholders have expressed their disinterest in the offer. Nevertheless, Northwest plans to include this offer in their reorganization plan due out next week.

Outside of bankruptcy, Frontier Airlines and its pilots represented by Frontier Airlines Pilots Association have reached a Tentative Agreement that the union states includes improved retirement benefits and job protection. If ratified in mid-February, this contract will take effect immediately. The pilots contract expired two years ago this May.

US Airways increased its offer to buy Delta to $10.2 billion. This offer will expire on February 1, 2007.

U.S. Deputy Ass’t to the Secretary of State for Transport John Byerly announced this week that the US has ruled out the possibility of relaxing foreign ownership rules with regards to US Airlines and continues to encourage the European Union to free up the transatlantic market nevertheless. In the past, the EU has denied any requests to further open up the skies to the US until we relax our foreign ownership rules.

And finally, as many of you have already heard, the DOT awarded the Beijing route to United Airlines out of Washington, D.C. The flight will begin March 25th provided the decision is final. Other airlines vying for this route were Continental, Northwest and AA.

Fuel Watch: The price of a barrel of crude has dropped about $10 in the past month. As of Thursday, January 11th the cost of one barrel was $55.59, nearly $4 less than last week’s price. The crack spread price was $14.50, up nearly $2 from last week’s price. This brings the cost for one barrel of jet fuel to $66.38, nearly $2 less than the price last week. In January of last year, jet fuel was $76.41 a barrel; $10 more than the price of jet fuel today.

Please remember that we have 2,609 APFA members on furlough.

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That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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