This is a special APFA HotLine update for Wednesday, February 25.
This afternoon, Lauri Curtis, American’s Vice President of Flight Service, advised in an email and HI6 message that, despite the attempts over the last several months to accommodate the Flight Attendant manning overages caused by schedule reductions and reduced passenger loads, the company has been unable to sufficiently absorb the expected additional Flight Attendant headcount. It is therefore notifying the 410 most junior of our members that they are subject to furlough effective April 1, 2009.
We are extremely disappointed that the company has had to resort to this action, though are hopeful that through the contractual procedures of Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying proffers, and the re-offering of the Travel Separation Program, the overage will be reduced or eliminated through voluntary means and will thereby reduce, or eliminate, any layoffs.
Your APFA leadership has worked diligently with the company on mitigation efforts since the initial overages announced last summer: from the Voluntary Bridge to Retirement, Overage Leaves and Partnerships in July, followed by the Planned Leaves of Absence proffered in January and the recently awarded Overage Leaves, Partnerships and Travel Separation programs.
Now again, in accordance with Article 16 of the contract, Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying will be proffered. Additionally, the Company is renewing the offer of the Travel Separation Program to eligible Flight Attendants. We encourage anyone able and willing to take advantage of one of these in the current round to do so.
We know that, as uncomfortable the prospect of potential layoff is to our most junior members, it also further delays the hoped-for return to work of those presently furloughed. Recognizing this, and the ongoing uncertainty faced by our furloughees, the APFA Board of Directors has achieved and unanimously approved an extension of the recall rights of those currently furloughed Flight Attendants by an additional two years, and an offer to them of a special Travel Separation Program. These Flight Attendants will receive a letter from the Company soon with more information and instructions.
As we have in the past, APFA will be updating the Reduction in Force page of our website with informational documents as they become available and, for those interested in proffering Partnership Flying, a Partner Finder. We will also update the Furlough/Recall page on a continuous basis as we receive information and locate resource links helpful to those who may find themselves again in a furlough situation.
We are hopeful that the number of potential furloughs can be significantly mitigated through the various voluntary methods. In the meantime your leadership remains dedicated to exhausting all possible means to preserve the livelihood of our members.