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11.21.08 – (LAA) – 1993 Strike Anniversary, JetBlue Pilots Moving Towards Unionization, Health Benefits

You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for November 21, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.


APFA Flight Attendants captured the headlines this week in many major media markets as we publicly celebrated the 15th anniversary of our ground breaking and airline grounding strike of 1993 this past Tuesday the 18th. Line Flight Attendants were joined by Base and Headquarters Reps and APFA National Officers on informational picket lines set up at New York – JFK, Washington, DC and D/FW airports. Carrying signs reading “Will History Repeat Itself?” and “We Are Still Willing,” the marchers reminded American Airlines management, and the flying public, that APFA Flight Attendants know how to exert the power of unity and solidarity in our quest for a new contract. After years of sacrifice endured under our 2003 agreement ñ sacrifices made to save this company now is the time to gain the improved wages and working conditions we absolutely require. Now is the time to rebuild our careers and our professional lives.

Passengers were presented with informational leaflets and directed to our PaxforPax website,, to get first-hand information on our ongoing struggles with an intransigent AA management, and to have a chance to voice their own concerns and thoughts as customers of American.

Along with our picketing at the three airports, local and national APFA Reps were present in all base operations areas on Tuesday to speak with Flight Attendants and show our Remember November video, now playing on the APFA website. Available to both members and the public, the video recaps our historic strike and recalls the five days of labor action by Flight Attendants in what was the largest such action in aviation history. Despite all that, we must remind management still today of our determination to win a good contract, even if we must again take the ultimate step to get it. Will history, after all, repeat itself?

Go to the APFA website at and scroll down to the “APFA Flight Attendants in the News” heading for a collection of news links.

And donít forget to view the Remember November streaming video and base-by-base 1993 picketing. Click on the Remember November logo and link and strike photo galleries.

video quick link
photo gallery quick link


In industry news, ex-AMR Chief Robert Crandall has chimed in with his view of the current airline industry economic environment. An article by the Wall Street Journal Market Watch reports that Mr. Crandallís ìwish listî of improvements for the industry includes, among other items: better labor relations, which seems to mean primarily “mandatory binding arbitration”. In other words, leave it to the courts and others to decide our professional fate. One wonders if Mr. Crandall has watched our Remember November video. He features prominently, after all.

Surely, the leaders at United favor court control over the workplace, at least when the courts favor them. Witness that United Airlines has won a preliminary injunction against its pilot union, ALPA, in which it sought to prevent disruptions to airline operations. United had accused the union and four individual pilots of organizing a campaign of actions resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights. The court ordered the union to “exert every reasonable effortî to stop any organized disruption.

Meantime, JetBlue pilots are reported to have taken the first step toward forming a union, despite their company’s claim that “a direct relationship with the company is in [their] pilots’ best interest.” Seems management everywhere is more intent than ever on putting up obstacles to honest bargaining rather than actually negotiating with their employeesí chosen representatives. In other words, itís business as usual.

Thatís it for this weekís HotLine.

Remember there are still 1,180 of our members on furlough and awaiting recall. And thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.

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Following is a recap of articles exchanged and countered in the past few weeks of negotiations:

APFA exchanged:

Article 18 – Moving Expenses
Article 20 – Medical Appeals / Arbitration
Article 21 – Hotels & Transportation
Article 23 – Emergency Assignments
Article 24 – Copies of Agreement

APFA countered:

Article 5 – Uniform & Accessories
Article 12 – Filling of Vacancies
Article 19 – Leaves of Absence
Article 27 – Bereavement / Personal Leaves

AA countered:

Article 5 – Uniforms & Accessories
Article 12 – Filling of Vacancies
Article 23 – Emergency Assignments
Article 24 – Copies of Agreement

Discussions resumed with the company on Tuesday, November 18th.

Scheduling subcommittee continues to meet on Article 10 – Reserve.

During a meeting with American, President Laura Glading advised management that APFA cannot entertain the Company’s offer regarding “threshold flying.” Due to the VBRs, leaves, attrition and capacity cuts, our Flight Attendants are having difficulty picking up their much needed extra time. This has created a great hardship on the membership. Therefore APFA is not in a position to agree to have the Flight Attendants fly a minimum number of hours to maintain employment.

On several occasions APFA President Laura Glading has asked the Company’s team to move outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area; so far they have declined. On October 30, President Glading sent a letter to Taylor Vaughn, the Chairperson of AA’s team, formally requesting our desire to move negotiations to a different city to minimize distractions caused by bargaining in the same locale as Americanís and APFAís headquarters. Laura believes the personal financial distress of the membership requires that we reach an agreement as soon as possible and that both parties will be more focused if we move outside Dallas, accelerating the bargaining process. Our team has agreed to remain in Dallas through the end of the year at which time we would move to another city. Should we be unable to reach an agreement on this issue, we feel our only recourse would be to apply to the National Mediation Board for the appointment of a mediator. The negotiations page of the APFA website contains a link to the copy of the letter. The Company continues to deny APFAís request.


As of November 12, 2008, all 2009 benefits enrollment information is available on JetNet. It is the recommendation of the APFA Health Department that all members review their selections carefully and print a copy for their records. If there are any errors notify, HR Services immediately at 1-800-447-2000.


Does APFA have your most recent contact information? Have you moved recently? Changed phone numbers or email address? The Company does not pass along changes to your personal information to the Union. You may call or email the APFA Membership Department: or 800-395-2732 ext. 8153, to let us know your new contact info. Or log on to the APFA web site and click on Member Services to change your information directly.

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