This is APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake with a Hotline update for Thursday, February 22, 2007.
Last week the Annual APFA Board of Directors Convention concluded after six days of solid work by the elected leadership of our Union. Like our membership, the APFA Board of Directors is a diverse group of union advocates; each of whom is focused representing the interests of the American Airlines Flight Attendants. One of the things that your leadership focuses on at the Convention is setting a course for the next 12 months.
To say that being a union leader on AA’s property has challenges’ is quite the understatement. Presently, the leadership of our Union has been forced to establish two separate tracks to follow in the weeks ahead. The first will be to attempt to remain at the business table with our Company, the other unions and management and work together to keep this Company of ours financially healthy for the benefit of all employees. The second track is how best to speak out against a hidden number of top senior managers who are about to receive considerable bonuses – some in the millions of dollars – while the rest of the 70,000+ employees continue to exist on the reduced wages and benefits we sustained to prevent our Company from entering bankruptcy.
Today, AA is very different than it was in 2003. Our Company is in the beginning stages of recovery earning a net profit last year for the first time since 2000. If American Airlines continues on this path, airline financial analysts are predicting a 2007 annual profit of as high as $1 billion. If that Wall Street forecast plays out, ALL employees will benefit with a 2008 profit sharing check as negotiated during the 2003 restructuring.
This time last year the three unions came together to file a Presidential Grievance and argue in front of a neutral arbitrator over the inequity of a group of senior managers rewarding themselves with bonuses (formerly known as Performance Unit Plan/PUP) before AA had even turned a profit. This year these bonuses have been renamed the Performance Share Plan (PSP) and have grown considerably due to several factors such as AA’s profitability, our bankrupt competitors, and the increasing price of AMR stock.
I question what has happened to the 2003 AMR philosophy of Pull Together/Win Together? We have reached the union/management goal of restoring AA to profitability together. But where are the shared gains to accompany the shared sacrifices?
Some will say this is simply the way of corporate America. Some will say that we shouldn’t be surprised by this common business of Executives rewarding themselves. Why would we have any faith in an AMR corporate culture shift? I will say to the front line of American Airlines this: don’t give up yet! Make your voices heard on this subject. I assure you that APFA will continue to be front and center – particularly in the coming weeks – insisting that this Company share in the gains. Management: pay attention! This is what happens when you give unions a seat at the business table and solicit our support to restore this Company to profitability. We are doing our part. The APFA Leadership means business. The front line intends to continue to seek our fair share of the success we have all created together.
Clearly, senior management believes that compensation is a motivator for success, as evidenced by the upcoming PSP bonuses set for April. Establish an incentive compensation plan for the front line employees now – in 2007. 2008 just may be too late.
And now please stay on the line for the remainder of this week’s message, Leslie.
This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, February 22, 2007.
APFA News: A new poll has been uploaded on www.apfa.org regarding Executive Compensation. Please visit www.apfa.org and locate the poll on the front page/right hand side of the Web site to select the way in which you would like to see more than $200 million spent as opposed to lining the pockets of 800+ members of upper management.
From the APFA Safety Department: On Wednesday, an American Airlines 757 lost a nose wheel tire while taking off from SEA. Upon landing safely in DFW it became apparent that the dual-nose wheel had a tire missing. The aircraft stopped short of the gate and all passengers deplaned safely. A thorough investigation is underway.
The 2007 Recurrent Training program begins next month and runs through February of 2008. This year there is no home study requirement. There will be an Online Training Course that is similar to last year’s computer module training. Though this section of the training is normally scheduled to be completed during annual recurrent class time, APFA has worked with the Company to allow Flight Attendants the opportunity to complete a portion of this online course prior to recurrent training. This will reduce your normal classroom time by approximately three and a half hours for Domestic FAs and five hours for International F/As. Information regarding the recurrent training program can be found on the Flight Service Web site. If you are having difficulty accessing or launching the On-line Training Course you may contact the Training Support Desk M-F from 5am to 7pm Central Time at 800.999.3632, option 8 for assistance. Also, please feel free to contact or email the APFA Safety/Security Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you experience any problems regarding the training program so that we may address these issues with AA Training and Flight Service.
A reminder from the Contract Department: Primary vacation bidding is currently open and will close at 8am Central on Wednesday, March 7. Secondary vacation bidding will open on March 15 and close at 0800 Central time on Friday, March 23. You will be able to split your vacation if you accrued 19 or more days of vacation. This is true even if your actual accrual is less than 19 days as a result of PVDs.
Fuel Watch: As of February 22nd, a barrel of crude oil cost $60.95. The crack spread price was $12.97. This brings the total for one barrel of jet fuel to $73.92 – about $4 more than last week’s price. One year ago, jet fuel was $73.81 a barrel ñ nearly the same price as it is today.
Please remember we have 2,390 American Airlines Flight Attendants on furlough.
Thatís it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.