7.27.07 – (LAA) – X-ray Screening and Hand Searches on Crew Bags, OSHA Fines to AA

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 27, 2007.

As we reported earlier this week, crewmembers entering the U.S. should be aware that Customs has increased random X-ray screening and hand searches on crew bags in an effort to crack down on undeclared items purchased out of the country. As a result of these searches, APFA has been able to confirm reports that Customs has contacted Flight Service on some occasions over the past few weeks causing a delay to crewmembers who are subject to further scrutiny by management. These actions are primarily focused in MIA.

Please be cognizant of the contents of your luggage at all times to avoid any unnecessary or inadvertent penalties while clearing U.S. Customs. If you find yourself in an investigation with management or AA Corporate Security, contact a Union Representative immediately. You should let the manager know that you would like a representative present. Review Article 31.R and Appendix U on pg. 334 of the Foundation Document online for specific language regarding the conducting of an investigation by Flight Service and/or AA Corporate Security. At the point management advises you of the need for an investigation (aka a 31.R), they should assist you in finding a Union Representative if you do not have APFA contact information on hand. Remember, you can access the APFA Web site from Flight Service at www.www.apfa.org. Click on contacts at the top of the page and navigate to your Base Chair.

Also, if a Passenger Service Representative asks you to assist with boarding and you are not working the flight – or are in street clothes and trying to non-rev – it is imperative that you decline this request to “help out.” Explain to the PSR that you are off-duty and it is a violation of your Contract to just run the EGR for a second or two. Remember that by saving management from themselves we are only hurting our workgroup further. The lack of transfers or proffers, the high-seniority Reserve lists, and the understaffed planes are a direct result of LACK OF GROWTH. The sooner management realizes that they will have to increase the FA staffing pool, the more relief every single one of us will feel. Please don’t offer to work for free – we all know senior management doesn’t!

OSHA reported this week that nearly $1/4 billion dollars have been levied against American Airlines for alleged safety violations at O’Hare Airport. The average fine for OSHA violations normally does not exceed $50,000. These pending fines are on the heels of the AMR Board of Directors’ awarding yet another round of Executive Bonuses to senior management at their meeting last Tuesday. These bonuses are set for April of 2010 and mirror the bonuses rewarded the past two years and scheduled for the next few as well. If AA refuses to reward all employees for pulling together/winning together, at the very least, focusing on basic on-the-job safety for AA employees should be a bigger priority than it appears to.

On that note, encourage Congress to include OSHA Protections for Flight Attendants in the ’07 FAA Reauthorization Act by visiting www.apfa.org and clicking on the link inside Action Alert. Also, you can contact your Congressperson on the issue of Family Leave for Crewmembers and the Extension of Recall Rights for our furloughed Flight Attendants on the Web site as well.

From the APFA Contract Department: Deadheading flexibilities have been expanded further. Here are the details: FAs at co-terminal bases, including those on Reserve, will be able to request that an originating and/or terminating deadhead leg of a sequence originate or terminate at a different co-terminal airport from the scheduled terminal. For example, if a LGA based-FA is assigned a trip that deadheads EWR to DFW to work back from DFW to EWR, they can contact Crew Schedule for permission to deadhead the first leg out of LGA or JFK. If the request is granted, the FA will not receive co-terminal stipend pay or surface transportation. This agreement should give Flight Attendants more options and help them avoid some time consuming and costly commutes to or from certain co-terminal airports. The full Co-terminal Deadhead Flexibility information can be found on the Contract Department’s page of the APFA Web site.

Special thanks to the LGA-based FAs for offering this suggestion to the APFA Contract Department in an effort to improve our work lives.

Rumor Control:
Q: I hear AA is being taken over by another airline.
A: We heard the same thing on the news, however, AA has not substantiated these rumors – in fact they deny them – and the rumors have since died down.

Please remember to forward any information regarding contractual violations by the Company, bag searches by Customs or management, or any type of harassment by management to your Base Chair or Vice Chair immediately. Include the sequence, management member’s name, and a timeline of the incident if at all possible.

We have 2,084 furloughed flight attendants waiting to be recalled.

Thatís it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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