Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Today is Friday, April 20th. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President, with an update on our Bonus Campaign 2007.
This last week, the APFA membership and leadership took our executive compensation protest to the public forum. Thousands of our members have once again become activist voices concerning an injustice that deserves an open debate.
Last Friday’s demonstration at AMR headquarters in Dallas/Ft. Worth was a tremendous showing of unity by hundreds of AA Flight Attendants from across the system over the most inequitable of injustices that has come our way in years. Literally hundreds of AA Flight Attendants from around the system marched, chanted and made our frustrations known in full public view that for the second year in a row, less than one thousand people will again be rewarded for the labor of tens of thousands of frontline AA employees.
Again on Tuesday, April 17th, thousands of APFA members stood for hours at 17 airports across the country and talked to our customers – sharing our stories from the last four years. We told our customers that – while we could not be more pleased to have played a major role in restoring AA to profitability, we feel betrayed by AA’s senior management following their commitment in 2003 to share in the gains. We explained to our valued customers that AA is squandering an opportunity for a sustained turnaround plan. We asked our customers, and they agreed, to sign thousands of “get well cards” for AA. A basket full of these cards was delivered to Gerard Arpey yesterday.
By agreeing that these “get well wishes” be sent to Mr. Arpey, our passengers have underscored what we have tried to convince management of all along – that it takes everyone ñ employees, customers, labor and leaders – to turn a company around. Because of all our hard work, we are not only profitable, but we are the only remaining network carrier to have never filed bankruptcy in its history. Our 2003 restructuring came with an understanding that by pulling together we would all win together. Everyone should have been rewarded after such a major accomplishment.
Unfortunately, senior management is hard of hearing and has forgotten how American Airlines went from the brink of bankruptcy in ’03 to having $5 billion cash on hand today and a reported 2006 annual profit for the first time since 2000. This was neither luck nor the sole work of 874 executives. Our Company turned around because of the hard work of the AA Flight Attendants, the ground workers, the pilots and every single employee at American who took huge pay cuts and agreed to pull together for the sake of our company.
This week, while AMR top management increased their personal wealth, some by several millions of dollars, the rest of us who stepped up to the plate in 2003 continue to sacrifice. As I walked the protest line with APFA members last Friday and again on Tuesday, I heard your individual stories about bank foreclosure on your homes, personal bankruptcy filings, and your children who were forced to take out huge college loans because those college funds are now being used to pay the family’s bills. I spoke to many AA Flight Attendant couples who have taken a double hit on wages and benefits. I spoke to single parents who struggle with increased childcare costs while you work more hours for less pay. Some of those who walk with us in AA Flight Attendant uniforms have been furloughed for nearly four years. Your stories are the stories of middle class America – they are compelling and they are very real.
On Wednesday the officers of APFA along with other APFA reps and members joined TWU members, and other work groups to walk with the AA pilots to AMR Headquarters once again. Jim Little, International President of TWU, Ralph Hunter, President of APA and I spoke to the hundreds of AA employees who agree that Enough is Enough! We have given and they have taken. We pulled this company together ñ and management is pulling it apart.
The public support from our communities, our sister unions, and our customers have been very heartening. Our AA story must be told. This current protest is not just about executive bonuses, but more of a public appeal over the betrayal of a corporate culture that resists the necessary change needed to sustain a real labor/management business partnership. Of late, senior management has been talking the talk but certainly not walking the walk.
Our next call to action will be next month on May 17th in Washington D.C., for the Transportation Day of Action. As much as it turns some of us off, the political environment WILL shape our future and the future of our families. This is a call to action for all union members in the transportation industry to come together and have our voices heard in our nation’s capital. Our industry has been attacked for six years. Our contracts have been assaulted and some of our jobs have been sent overseas or given to non-union companies. Let’s help put our industry and our transportation community on the map for the 2008 Presidential Elections. Detailed information will be in our weekly hotline and on our Web site soon.
APFA and our members must stay committed and firm in our march toward restoring our wages and work rules and protecting our benefits. I urge our new activists to stay focused and learn from the experience of those of us who have had our voices heard on the injustices of the past. We have just begun a new chapter in APFA history. As we go forward together we must continue to take care of each other, recharge our batteries and be prepared for our next call to action.
Now, please stay on the remainder of this week’s hotline. Leslie…
Thanks Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the rest of today’s APFA Hotline.
While AA has been busy pulling this company apart by rewarding themselves with an obscene amount of bonuses this past Wednesday -$202 million worth; the Flight Attendants, ground workers, pilots, agents and other employees of this company joined together to protest this white-collar raid by senior management. Our CEO, Gerard Arpey, took home about $7.5 million and his right hand man Dan Garton, Marketing VP, was showered with $4.7 million in stock. Many thanks to the more than four thousand flight attendants who traveled to one of 17 airports across the nation to speak out against executive bonuses.
Tommie announced our next protest and it bears repeating: APFA will join TWU and take our fight to Washington, D.C., on Thursday May 17th to protest the attacks on our contracts, our pensions, executive compensation and the increase of outsourcing. Please mark your calendar and bid accordingly. We will provide details as the date draws closer.
AMR’s 2007 Proxy Statement was filed today, April 20th and is available for download on the APFA Web site. APFA has formally requested a meeting with Sr. Management to review the details of this SEC filing along with APFA’s financial consultant. Please take a moment to visit APFA’s Web site. The Executive Bonuses area of www.apfa.org contains an abundance of information on this subject. From explanations of how the bonuses were calculated, to Flight Attendants’ messages to management, to APFA’s White Paper entitled, “Employee Sacrifices and Collaboration at American Airlines.” You will find related news articles, a Web site devoted to Executive Pay, APFA Press Releases from the past month, and soon we will post the hundreds of photos we’ve received from across the system. If you missed the USA Today ad last Friday, you can download it at www.apfa.org. You can also download more bagtag inserts, the tug of war cartoon drawn by APFA’s graphic designer, and view the remaining piece of Company propaganda (ironically entitled “Management Productivity”) that can be found on Jetnet!
One final note – please take a moment to fill out the APFA Membership Opinion Survey. We will end this survey on Monday, April 23, 2007. Donít miss this opportunity to share your opinion with your Unionís leadership.
Please onít forget we still have 2,345 furloughed flight attendants.
Thatís it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.
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