This is the APFA HotLine for May 21, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
This morning, APFA members were out in force to demand the resignation of AMR’s top executives at the AMR Shareholders’ meeting held at American’s FlagShip University in Fort Worth, TX. Uniformed Flight Attendants and Pilots from around our system stood in protest and carried picket signs displaying our message to shareholders and media representatives alike. Check the APFA website next week for photos of the event. In her remarks to those present, APFA President Laura Glading declared “that our 19,000 Flight Attendants are unified and dedicated to our profession.” Ms. Glading pledged “to work closely with the pilots and other employees to restore our standard of living.”
While their employees protested outside, AMR’s leaders inside announced a planned reduction in the American and American Eagle domestic capacity in the fourth quarter of 2008 by 11 to 12 percent compared to the previous year. The plan also involves retiring 40 to 45 mainline aircraft. Previously the company had expected fourth quarter reductions of only 4.6 percent. In its press release, the company stated that it is still assessing the impact of its plan on specific routes and markets as well as any work force reductions that may result from the reduced capacity. To date, APFA has received no word from the company on planned reductions in the Flight Attendant headcount.
We are all rightfully concerned about how any flight cutbacks might affect our jobs and we will continue to press the company for details on any possible consequences for our work force. Due to the limited details offered by the company so far, it is too early to speculate on any specific numbers that may be involved in a reduction.
Keep in mind that the company has already announced plans that may mitigate some of the announced aircraft retirements. These include expedited deliveries of the 737 and the addition of a 4th flight attendant on that aircraft required by increased seating capacity. Remember too that Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying must be offered prior to any furloughs. Your APFA leadership will use all contractual provisions available to minimize the impact any reductions might have on our Flight Attendants. As soon as we receive specific information we will be sure to update this HotLine.
In industry news: Flight Attendants move closer to the coverage intended under the Family Medical Leave Act with the passage in the house of “The Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act” which will ensure that Flight Attendants, like 9-5 workers, can qualify for Family and Medical Leave if they work 60% of their monthly guarantee. Focus in Washington now turns to passage of the companion Senate Bill S.2059.
The goings on in Washington and at American Airlines should be evidence enough that all airline employees need to speak with a collective voice in their dealings with management. To that end, Flight Attendants at Delta Airlines are in their final week of voting for possible union representation. Their votes are due to be counted next week on the 28th. We at APFA stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers at Delta and wish them well.
Remember that there are still 1,193 APFA members awaiting recall to the line. Keep them in your thoughts as you fly your trips and remember too that the WINGS Foundation is always working to help your fellow Flight Attendants in need. Check with your local WINGS representative to see how you can help at your base.
Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.