This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, April 4, 2008.
As was previously announced, despite APFA’s efforts to encourage management to do the right thing, for now, APFA will not turn down a method for FAs to protect their paychecks as a result of the MD-80 cancellations last week. If you wish to use a personal vacation day(s) to cover the time lost due to the MD-80 cancellations, please contact your FSM by April 6, 2008.
From the Scheduling Department: A new co-terminal letter will apply to LAX reserve preferences beginning April 10, 2008. For FAs desiring to fly out of SNA or ONT, they may enter a preference for either of those co-terminals and be awarded flying from those airports out of GTD order. That means that when the time-accrued reserve assignments are made, those FAs with an SNA or ONT preference will be considered first for those airports. By entering a short call preference for those airports, FAs desiring ONT or SNA will be called first for day of assignments.
This does not mean that FAs without these preferences will never be called for trips out of SNA or ONT. It means that Crew Schedule is permitted to award this flying out of strict GTD order for the entire base and go straight to those FAs who want to fly out of SNA or ONT. Some co-terminals just donÇt have enough demand to spare the rest of the base flying out of them. Also, remember that the short call preference does mean that Crew Schedule can call with assignments scheduled to depart in less than two hours. If you really arenÇt that close to the airport, you might want to only add the co-terminal preference, but not the short call preference.
The one-time AIP checks AA issued in January are valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Therefore, these checks must be deposited or cashed no later than April 14, 2008. If you lost your check or are having difficulty cashing the check prior to the deadline, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, APFA welcomed back more of our recalled members. Thirty-seven FAs reported to BOS, 35 to DCA and 149 to LGA (numbers may differ slightly from those initially accepting recall due to attrition).
For recalled FAs who were not yet 50 years old at the time of furlough and, therefore, received a refund of prefunding payments, you have 90 days from your recall date to return the prefunding amount given to you if you would like to be reinstated in prefunding. Contact JP Morgan at 800-345-2345 if you are unsure of the amount previously refunded. You can send your check to the following:
American Airlines/Employee Services
PO Box 619616
MD 5141 HDQ
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616
If you fail to return your prefunding by the deadline and later, you decide you want to prefund for your retiree medical benefits, you must pay a $250 re-enrollment fee as well as higher age-based rates. You will also be required to prefund for ten full years in order to take advantage of retiree medical benefits.
Industry News: ATA Airlines ceased operations today leaving crew members stranded on layovers and passengers without return passage. They attributed their bankruptcy to “key charter flights and soaring fuel costs.” ATA Airlines was once the 10th largest airline in the nation. This is the 2nd bankruptcy in three years and more than 2,200 employees are out of a job.
Aloha Airlines folded earlier this week as well after 60 years of service within the Hawaiian islands and transpacific. The airline cited “unfair competition” as the reason it could no longer operate. Its last day of operation was March 31, 2008.
Today, a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing revealed several FAA whistle-blowers’ testimony that their supervisors threatened their families and their jobs in order to suppress maintenance compliance that allowed 46 of Southwest Airlines’ planes to fly years beyond their inspection dates. James Oberstar, D-Minn., accused the agency of treating air carriers as “customers” and “clients” rather than an organization to be regulated. On one area of the FAA’s Web site, it refers to airlines as its clients. United airlines cancelled several flights Thursday to inspect their entire fleet of 777s. They are hopeful that airplanes will return to the line by Friday. This follows American Airlines’ re-inspection of 300 of its aircraft to ensure FAA compliance. AA cancelled hundreds of flights as a result of this “re-inspection” costing AA Flight Attendants who were caught in the middle of this debacle a loss in scheduled hours and pay. The company is not willing to pay for their mistakes but instead is requiring that flight attendants use vacation days to recover any pay that may have been lost. Since the cancellations occurred at the end of the month, there is no time for FAs to even make up for the lost flying/pay.
Meanwhile, management is set to reward themselves tens of millions of dollars on April 16, 2008, as what has become an annual Spring Event of PSP bonuses is right around the corner for less than 1,000 senior execs at AMR. Apparently, performance bonuses make perfect sense to these folks despite our airline’s stock price at just over $9 a share as compared with last year’s price of $32 a share – a drop of over 70% in the price of AMR stock.
That’s it for this week. We still have 1,198 furloughed flight attendants awaiting recall.
Thanks for calling.
This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with an important hotline update for Friday, April 4, 2008.
Despite APFA’s efforts to convince AA to do the right thing by restoring pay for lost hours as a result of the MD-80 cancellations, for now, AA will only agree to allow flight attendants to be compensated for pay loss by using personal vacation days. Since it is important to address the immediate issue of FAs being paid now rather than later for time lost through no fault of their own, the immediate concern is our members’ ability to be paid what they are owed. This agreement does not preclude APFA from filing a grievance against management in the near future on this event. APFA is not in support of any Flight Attendant being forced to use their hard-earned vacation days to pay for management’s mistakes. No other workgroup at AA suffered the negative financial impact that the Flight Attendants have because of these cancellations.
Again, APFA does NOT agree with the fact that Flight Attendants are being forced to pay for cancelled trips as a result of management’s mistakes out of their vacation banks. We are pursuing all avenues to rectify this situation. Again, APFA will not turn down a method for FAs to protect their paychecks. If you wish to use a personal vacation day(s) to cover the time lost due to the MD-80 cancellations, please contact your FSM by April 6, 2008.
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