This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator with the APFA Hotline for Friday, January 26, 2007.
In less than a week – on January 31st – we will lose 209 more furloughed members to the five-year language in Article 16 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. This brings the total of those who’ve been removed from the Seniority List as a result of this contractual language to more than 1,300 furloughed APFA members. AA remains entrenched in their commitment to avoid recalling any more Flight Attendants at this point, or engaging in discussing the possibility of extending the five-year recall timeline outside of full-blown Section Six negotiations. In July 2008, if there are no further recalls, we will have lost nearly 4,000 furloughed APFA members to the five-year recall language in Article 16. Further, in the event that our Company merges with or acquires another carrier our active members could possibly face furloughs subject to this restrictive language.
APFA is fully aware that if we open our Contract to amend this language, it will not be as simple as securing extended recall rights. As most of you are aware, if we agreed to enter into Section Six bargaining earlier than planned, all Articles in the Contract would be open for discussion just as they would be during regular bargaining. Now is not the time for our workgroup to subject ourselves to the possibility of further concessions while AA is just beginning to regain its financial footing. APFA will do everything in its power to keep our Contract closed until we have formed and trained our next negotiating committee in accordance with the APFA Constitution and the Railway Labor Act.
On that note, TWU has announced it will begin bargaining in November of ’07. The pilots have been in negotiations with AA since openers were exchanged on September 20, 2006.
For those of you who have not gotten a chance to read the Health Benefits Settlement Agreement, you can visit www.apfa.org and click on Presidential Grievances – Grievances Settled – Comprehensive Healthcare Benefits Settlement – 1.17.07.
Last week’s Willingness-to-Serves (WTS) were opened and announced on this Hotline. A list of the final candidates running for local office as well as those duly-elected will be posted on www.apfa.org as soon as the ballots have been mailed. A few updates to the WTS follow:
LAX-I Base Chair election will be between David Ransom and Joseph Robinson. Duly-elected Vice Chair at LAX-I is Tony Leonhardt. Larry Salas is the duly-elected Base Chair at SFO. The election for the four BOS-I Operational Council Representative positions will be between Susan Coequyt, Michael Medeiros, Sean Nowicke, Patty Moore and Neil Wood.
As we stated in last week’s hotline, APFA is monitoring the Company’s recent changes to Buy on Board/Food For Sale to determine whether a violation of our Contract has occurred based on the recent changes. Article 9.B.2 of our Contract states in part that “…the Company shall have discretion in changing staffing or service levels, APFA shall be afforded a safeguard against the Company abusing that discretion. Accordingly, APFA shall have the right to file a Presidential Grievance if the Company abuses its discretion by assigning an unreasonable workload to Flight Attendants.” Your assistance by providing detailed feedback from your onboard experiences with Food For Sale is critical. Please email this information including flight number, city pair, aircraft type, length of service and any issues relating to completing this service to email@example.com.
A MIA Reinstatement Proffer for two FAs has been announced based on the agreement reached between APFA and the Company to facilitate the return of those FAs displaced from MIA in 2003. The deadline to accept is 0830 Central Time on Wednesday, February 7th. Remember ñ should the proffer reach your seniority and you fail to accept, you will forfeit your recall rights. Those FAs eligible for reinstatement have been sent an HI6 message containing additional details on this proffer.
We have a new layover hotel secured in the heart of downtown Rome effective April 1, 2007. This is one of our former layover hotels and a favorite of our crews. Please check the secure section of www.apfa.org for details. This property will provide a free continental breakfast on check in. If you would like to bring a guest with you on your layover, the hotel has informed us that there will be an additional charge of 90 Euros.
As a result of the seemingly non-stop construction at our layover hotel in Paris we will be temporarily relocating to the same hotel we used in November of ’06. Our regular layover hotel has stated that the construction should last no longer than the beginning of April. As soon as it is finished, we will return to our standard hotel. Don’t forget to check www.apfa.org for hotel review announcements, and reports you would like to submit about any of our layover hotels.
A new poll question has been posted on www.apfa.org regarding the fourth quarter membership online survey. The answer to the poll question can be found on the back cover of the latest Skyword magazine.
In the coming weeks, this online poll will address the much anticipated executive bonus payout in April for the “elite” members of management. Despite the changes made by the Company to the Performance Units Plan (PUP) cash bonuses as a result of last year’s joint Presidential Grievance filed by the three unions, the fact remains that this year there will be an extraordinary amount of stock – equaling hundreds of millions of dollars – given to less than two percent of the employees of American Airlines.
This year, the showering of bonuses on senior management has been renamed the Performance Share Plan (PSP). This plan pays out according to the performance of AA vs. a select group of comparator airlines. It is determined by a formula based on how AMRís stock price holds up against other carriers’ prices and several other factors. Ironically, the total amount of profits we just saw for ’06 is about equal to the amount of stock, once redeemed, that will be awarded in April of í07 to less than 1,000 “elite” senior management employees – provided the stock price remains around $40 – twice the amount of last year’s stock price.
Clearly senior management believes that the way to motivate its employees is with dollars. If thatís the case, then why is senior management the only ones being motivated? The answer is obvious: performance and incentive-based rewards for all employees. This concept would, no doubt, motivate every one of us to work even harder to sustain AA’s return to profitability.
APFA is working hard to convince the company that all employees should reap the rewards of the hard work and sacrifice each of us has put into keeping this company out of bankruptcy. This clash between those of us on the front lines and those in the ivory tower who feel they are entitled to a hugely disproportionate share of our profits flies in the face of AA’s own moniker: “Pull Together/Win Together.” Your APFA leadership will be meeting for five days in February at the Annual Board of Directors Meeting to continue planning our strategy along these lines and we will be calling upon all APFA members to join us in fighting smart!
Q: Thereís a rumor going around that our sick bank has been reduced from a 1,000-hour cap to an 800-hour cap. Is this true?
A: Absolutely not. The company would have to negotiate this item and we are not in negotiations.
Q: If I call in sick on Domestic can I be paid Domestic up to 85 hours on my schedule?
A: Domestic regularly-scheduled FAs cannot be paid from their sick bank if it results in payment over 80 hours. It is not true that you are capped at 80 hours anytime you call in sick. Hours you have actually flown and/or OE trips can allow for more than 80 hours of pay for a Domestic regularly-scheduled FA in a month you call in sick. If you pick up an OE trip you will be paid for that trip but you must actually fly it. Sick hours in excess of the 80-hour provision will be credited back to your sick bank during the pay comp audit at the beginning of the following month. If you are on Reserve, you can be paid up to 85 hours from your sick bank provided you are scheduled for 85+ hours.
Q: Since Buy On Board has been changed to Food for Sale, is this name change the Company’s way of getting around paying FAs a commission?
A: No. You will receive the same commission from Food for Sale as you did from Buy On Board.
Q: There is a rumor going around that the mechanics have exercised the option included in their RPA to enter into bargaining with AA. What’s the deal and why aren’t we entering negotiations?
A: It is true that TWU, the union representing the AA mechanics and ground workers have announced their intention to enter into bargaining; however, bargaining will not begin until November 2007, which is six months prior to their RPA’s amendable date.
Q: How come the pilots and the ground workers have gotten all their vacation and pay back and we are still working under the ’03 RPA terms?
A: No one has gotten “their vacation back or pay rates restored outside of the ’03 negotiations.” None of these contractual items has been altered since the RPA for any of the unions.
Industry News: United Airlines reported a fourth quarter í06 loss of $61 million narrowing their annual profit to $25 million for ë06. Frontier Airlines reported a loss of $14.4 million last quarter compared with a $10.3 million loss in the same quarter of 2005. AirTran lost $3.3 million last quarter vs. the profit they made in the fourth quarter ’05 of about $370,000.
Fuel Watch: On January 25th a barrel of crude oil cost $54.23. The crack spread price was $15.66. This brings the total for one barrel of jet fuel to $69.89. One year ago, jet fuel was $76.41 a barrel, about $6 a barrel higher than the price today.
Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.