APRIL 14, 2007
This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Sunday (Saturday,) April 14, 2007.
Hundreds of Flight Attendants from bases all over the country including JFK, LGA, LAX, LAX-I, SFO, and SFO-I, ORD, IOR, STL, MIA, IMA, DCA-I and of course DFW and IDF arrived at APFA Headquarters on Friday, April 13th, some as early as 7:00 a.m., that morning in anticipation of our protest against the bonuses to 874 executives set for payout next Wednesday, April 18th. At about 9:30 a.m., APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake welcomed the protestors surrounded by picket signs and APFA’s 1/2 page ad found on page 5 of the Money Section in USA Today, and referenced AAís veiled threat against our organization in the form of a “potential job action.” The text of APFA’s response to AA’s Human Resources representative Mark Burdette can be found on www.apfa.org just below the tug-of-war cartoon. Members were then briefed on the events about to unfold, boarded one of four buses, and were escorted to AMR Headquarters by a truck displaying the now-familiar APFA artwork of employees vs. executives in a tug of war on one side, and a poignant quote on the other that reads, “It took 80,000 employees to pull AA together and only 874 execs to pull it a part.” A copy of bonus-related chants and a picket sign were provided to each FA as we took our seats on the bus.
Once at AMR, FAs deplaned buses, many wearing boots to help wade through corporate rhetoric chanting “Arpey’s got the gold mine, we got the shaft!” and “Hey Hey Ho Ho, Executive Bonuses Got To Go.” We were greeted by TV cameras from news stations throughout North Texas. Go to Dallasnews.com/extra and locate the “Flight Attendants Speak Out” video for footage. Overhead, flying several stories high in perfect view of AMR’s top executives was a 25-foot blimp. The blimp portrayed the same artwork as the truck leading the procession, complete with a 12-foot vertical banner dangling below with dollars appearing to fall from the sky. About a dozen AMR executives could be seen peering from their tinted windows at various times throughout the morning. We were told that Mr. Arpey was conveniently not in the building; however, that was not confirmed.
We spent about an hour and a half in front of AMR – protected by tents when necessary due to the anticipated weather in the area – repeating chants and listening to speakers. A 75-foot rope with about 40 flight attendants on one end and a member dressed in a black suit on the other representative of an AMR Executive, engaged in a tug-of-war.
We did two laps around AMR’s Centerport I and II led by APFA President Hutto-Blake, Vice-President Brett Durkin, Secretary Greg Hildreth, Treasurer Cathy Lukensmeyer, several Base Chairs and Vice Chairs, Executive Committee members and National Coordinators and literally hundreds of American Airlines Flight Attendants who spent their day off picketing the injustices of corporate greed at American Airlines. APA President Ralph Hunter and several other APA members walked along side APFA members circling Centerport chanting and carrying our picket signs in support of our protest.
It was an amazing morning, and the unity displayed throughout the event was reminiscent of ’93. The threat of hail or tornadoes didn’t stop American Airlines Flight Attendants from putting on our uniforms on a day off and standing up for what we believe in. After four years of “Pull Together, Win Together” and any lack of shared gains by AMR corporate, our members proved that we are unified in our efforts to bring to light the insatiable appetite of 874 AMR Executives at the expense of 20,000 Flight Attendants who helped save this company from bankruptcy in 2003.
On Tuesday, April 17th, we will take our protests on a national level by picketing 16 airports across America from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., local. If you have any questions about where you should meet, please coordinate with your base chair or event coordinator (if the event is at a commuter city) by going to the Web site and clicking on the link entitled: Latest News at the top of the Executive Bonus page. If you are out-of-base, feel free to picket at any of the following 16 cities including: BOS, DCA, LGA, JFK, EWR, MIA, RDU, STL, ORD, DFW, SFO, LAX, SAN, PHX, IAH and MSP. You should wear your uniform and leave your boots at home for this event! Your event coordinator will have all necessary materials, however, if you would like to bring extra green ribbons for your fellow Flight Attendants to wear behind their wings, as well as refreshments – feel free! Please bring your camera as well, and email any photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post them on the Web site and maybe even use them in the June issue of Skyword provided the file size is of print-quality of 500 kb or larger. Visit www.apfa.org and click on the links beneath the tug-of-war cartoon to read “The White Paper” authored by aviation financial expert Dan Akins, the way these bonuses are actually calculated, view a copy of our USA Today ad that appeared nationwide on page 5 of the Money section Friday morning and the letter in response to AA’s threats about a “job action.” Click on the Executive Bonuses link to read FA letters of outrage, APFA Press Releases, related news articles, bag tag inserts for print and several other bonus-related links.
On a side note, if you have a permit for Terminal D parking at DFW, you should under no circumstances park in Terminal D for purposes of picketing on Tuesday the 17th. Please use the employee lot. Remember, this event is for off-duty Flight Attendants only and is intended as informational picketing.
APFA is encouraging our members to participate in these organized activities designed to let the Company and the public know that the April 18th AMR executive bonus payouts are indefensible. We encourage all off-duty flight attendants to participate in this entirely lawful event. If you are scheduled to fly or sit stand-by, please do not disrupt your duties to join in informational picketing.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There have been rumors circulating that some on America Airline’s property might engage in unlawful activities not sanctioned by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Under no circumstances should any Flight Attendant support unlawful activity displayed by a fellow employee such as a sick-out, as it is not only illegal, but entirely counterproductive to our public protests over the inequities of these executive bonuses. In fact, any illegal action could harm this cause and our Union. Don’t give AMR any reason to deflect our efforts to expose their greed by allowing them to claim that Flight Attendants are engaging in anything but legal activities as sanctioned by APFA. See you Tuesday at 10:00 am!
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