You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, January 30, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
VOLUNTARY FLIGHT ATTENDANT OPTIONS RESULTS
Flight Service has made available the results of the Overage Leave of Absence and Partnership Flying proffers which closed on January 26. As announced on Wednesday, there were sufficient proffers for the voluntary options that the potential furloughs from this projected headcount overage have been avoided. The proffer results are posted on the APFA website under the Leaves/Partnerships link in the main menu. They are also available through the Crew Resources link on the Flight Service website. In her announcement of the results, Lauri Curtis stated that though they ìfell slightly short of [the] near-term headcount targets, [the company] will be offering monthly Bid Leaves and additional Vacation slots to offset the remaining short-term overage.î A total of 457 unique overage leaves of varying lengths were awarded, as well as 20 partnerships.
AIRLINE EARNINGS REPORTS
Major US carriers continued their fourth-quarter 2008 earnings reports this week. Take out your scorecards, make two columns for the “holy cow!” and the “that’s not so bad” numbers, and letís begin with Delta which reported a loss of $1.44 billion, or just a $340 million loss excluding one-time write-offs.
Continental Airlines turned in a loss of $266 million for the months October through December, $170 million due to special items.
US Airways recorded its fourth quarter loss of $541 million, $234 million of that in paper losses on fuel hedges.
JetBlue reported a loss of $49 million, though it would have shown a profit of $4 million excluding one-time charges.
Finally, Alaska Airlines showed a $75.2 million fourth-quarter loss, though it too would have reported a profit – $16.4 million – if special items were excluded.
As you recall, American last week reported its own numbers of minus $340 million – make that minus $214 million if you – all together now: “exclude special write-offs.”
APFA PRESS RELEASE
Amidst the increasingly popular double-speak of airline profit and loss statements – a confusing barrage of a billion dollars here, millions there and “oh, let’s not count this expense shall we” your APFA Negotiating Team continues its work, now under the guidance of a Federal Mediator, to restore what we’ve lost through our pay, benefit and work rule sacrifices almost six years ago. In a press release on Monday, January 26, APFA President Laura Glading stated that “We realize the impact of the struggling economy on American Airlines, but many economists are predicting a banner year for airlines in 2009 and oil prices continue to fall. We are beginning 2009 with our own Change Agenda, and [are] prepared to take all necessary steps to win a fair agreement.
” [We] believe this is an opportunity to revive the middle-class standard that Flight Attendants at American had achieved before the company came to us, hat in hand, asking for relief. We deserve a contract that substantially increases our pay, vacation and sick leave, so that our standing as part of the middle class is restored.“
The entire press release is available on the APFA website. Click on “Public Relations” on the menu bar at the top of the main page of APFA.org.
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As pleased as we all are that a manning overage has again been absorbed through voluntary means, we must not lose sight of the fact that 1,180 of our members remain on furlough. We look forward to a time when all can rejoin their colleagues on the line.
Please remember too that the Wings Foundation has operations at every base, with reps to answer your questions on how you can help, or how to seek their assistance. Go to www.wingsfoundation.com for more information.
And thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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The start of mediated negotiations in no way means the end of membership involvement. Your Negotiating Team is making the final edits on a brief scheduling survey to be taken through the APFA website. Watch for a separate email alert when the survey is ready for access. Then, please take the time to go to the Survey link when it appears on the main page, update your contact information and make your opinion known. Additionally, you can always send your ideas and comments directly to the APFA Negotiating Team by emailing: email@example.com, or use the link “Tell Your Team What You Want” at the top of the Negotiations page found at: index.php?&view=category&id=351.
SHARING NEGOTIATIONS KNOWLEDGE
Earlier this week, the table members of APFA’s Negotiating Team, along with APFA President Laura Glading and Vice President Brett Durkin, met in Chicago with counterparts at the AFA, representing United’s Flight Attendants in soon-to-begin talks with management over their new contract. If you have been following the news or have friends who work for other airlines, you know that AA Flight Attendants are not the only ones now in – or soon starting – contract negotiations. Rarely any more do Flight Attendant groups feel an unstated competition with each other. Increasingly, the attitude of ìwe are all in this togetherî prevails, and several meetings of the Flight Attendant Coalition in 2008 attest to that very fact. The exchange of information has been invaluable. Beyond a mere discussion of contract and work rule differences, these meetings provide new perspectives on ways to accomplish our goals, some common to each Flight Attendant group, some specific to our needs. We look forward to more talks and information sharing in the future. APFA and the other Flight Attendant unions have committed to more meetings and exchanges going forward.
BOSTON RETIREMENT SEMINARS
Flight Attendant retirement seminars will take place in BOS on Thursday, February 5. Three seminars conducted by APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock will be held in the Flight Service Training room beginning at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm local time. Past attendees of these seminars have found them very useful for their retirement planning. BOS based Flight Attendants, commuters and those on layover are all welcome and encouraged to attend.
BASE ELECTIONS AT: IDF, IOR, JFK, LGA, RDU-I, STL
The APFA National Ballot Committee on Tuesday, January 27, mailed out ballots for Chairperson elections at: IDF, IOR, JFK, LGA and STL; and for Vice Chairperson elections at: IDF, IOR, JFK, RDU-I and STL. Each APFA member may vote for the Representatives of the base at which the member is based the day ballots are mailed to the membership. Ballots must be received in the designated P.O. Box by 9 a.m. Central time on February 26, 2009.
After allowing adequate time for mail delivery, members needing a duplicate ballot may request one by:
— calling the National Ballot Committee at 817.540.0108 extension 8311; or
— emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An online Duplicate Ballot Request form is under development.
In accordance with the APFA Policy Manual, if both an original and duplicate ballot are received, only the duplicate will be counted. Duplicate ballots will be issued, upon request, up to five (5) days prior to the ballot due date.
You must be a member in good standing (dues current or on an official APFA payment plan) no later than five (5) days prior to the election in order to be deemed eligible to vote. Payment plans must be executed at least thirty (30) days prior to the balloting date for the member to be deemed eligible to vote for their Base Representatives. If you have questions about your dues status, or need to arrange a payment plan, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 817.540.0108 extension 8154, or email: email@example.com.
For answers to your specific questions on the election and balloting procedures, you may also contact the APFA National Ballot Committee via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling headquarters extension 8311.
APFA has received many calls and emails regarding the Cabin ASAP program. While more information to you on this program is forthcoming, we wanted to address some concerns immediately.
Cabin ASAP is NOT a program to report another Flight Attendant or co-worker on the property. APFA has a successful Professional Standards program and any report disclosing a safety related violation of another co-worker will be excluded, the report will be destroyed and the reporting Flight Attendant will be directed to APFA professional standards.
Cabin ASAP is a VOLUNTARY program. If you chose to submit a Cabin ASAP report and it is accepted into the program you will be protected from Company discipline and FAA civil action.
The underlying purpose of Cabin ASAP is to take a proactive role in identifying the underlying cause of why safety violations are occurring and then work with the Regulator (the FAA), the policy maker (American) and the employee (you) to fix the problem. This can only be achieved through information provided by you. In exchange for your information you will receive NO Company discipline and NO FAA action if the report is accepted into the program.
We want you to continue to communicate your questions and concerns regarding Cabin ASAP. Please email these to: email@example.com.