SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM APFA PRESIDENT LAURA GLADING
This is APFA President Laura Glading and today is May 1, 2009.
One year has passed since we began bargaining with American Airlines for a new working agreement with the monetary, scheduling and work life improvements we need. Though our goal of a new contract by today has not been met, our talks continue to show promise with the assistance of a Federal Mediator.
We have been in mediated talks with the company since the beginning of the year after requesting such help jointly with the company in December. Since that time, we have continued to see our financial security decline. We recognize that the economic times are difficult. The airline industry is in a recession, as we all are. But we have sacrificed so much for this company, without reward.
We last received a small increase of 1.5% in May of 2008; while we have watched AMR executives take millions in bonuses even when the company struggles. No wonder working Americans have lost faith in corporate America; we certainly have.
We care about this airline and our customers and want American to be the leader in the industry. While we have not yet reached an agreement, we remain steadfast in our resolve. Flight Attendants are ready and willing to take all necessary steps to achieve that goal. We must be – for our careers, our families and our future. We will not give up our battle.
Now more than ever, Unity among our members is paramount. Have faith in your APFA leadership and your Negotiating Team. Keep yourself informed of the process. Working together, we will have the new contract we all deserve and need.
APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, May 1, 2009.
SWINE FLU OUTBREAK
APFA continues to work with company and health officials to ensure our flight crews’ safety and welfare amidst increasing reports of the Swine flu (aka “H1N1”). Though still primarily centered in Mexico, particularly the areas in and around Mexico City, milder cases have been reported in several U.S. states and in several countries far from the epicenter, prompting the World Health Organization on Wednesday to raise its global alert level. Several countries in the Americas, as well as a few European governments, have issued travel warnings and/or suspended flights to Mexico, and in some cases to the U.S. News reports are replete with photos of Mexican residents, visitors and workers donning masks and gloves. The Mexican government continues to sharply curtail many public services and private gatherings in an effort to slow the spread the contagion.
The U.S. State Department issued a recommendation that non-essential travel to Mexico be avoided or rescheduled and airlines have responded by relaxing ticket change and cancellation restrictions. For those who must travel, most carriers, like AA, are providing a supply of masks and gloves for use on board if there is a suspicion of passenger illness. Our field and headquarters representatives at APFA have responded to hundreds of inquiries from concerned members and we have worked with the company to reschedule layovers and rework sequences to minimize the number of overnights and limit the time spent on the ground until the situation improves.
In all cases, APFA encourages members to watch after themselves and each other in providing a safe and healthy work environment. Take sensible precautions, keep informed of the latest procedures, follow the recommendations of the health and government authorities and be aware of what is going on around you. Check the web link below for Swine flu information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and advice on what you can doónot just when traveling to areas with health emergencies – but at all times to stay healthy.
The APFA Safety and Security Coordinator has been advised by Flight Service that managers are ramping departures to Mexico and briefing crew members on the latest CDC information and distributing hand sanitizer wipes. Managers have told Flight Attendants working flights in and out of all Mexico destinations that they may wear both gloves and a mask, if they choose to do so. There have been no changes or alterations to AA flight schedules regarding any Mexico destinations and AA does not plan to make any changes unless given a directive from the CDC. At this time, all flights are scheduled to depart regardless of flight loads.
The APFA Hotel Coordinator advises that long layovers in MEX have been relocated to the short layover location until conditions improve. Additionally, MEX airport personnel are providing layover crews with masks.
Please be aware that several foreign destination cities, particularly PVG and NRT, have implemented special procedures for flights arriving from the U.S. It is also reported that health officials in Mexico have begun health screenings of departing passengers and crew. As they can and do change frequently, please verify current arrival and departure procedures with the Flight Service MODs and be prepared to cooperate with local health and government officials.
Please continue to check the APFA website HotLine page, Jetnet and the AA Flight Service websites for updates and alerts. Questions may also be addressed to our APFA Departments regarding safety, health or hotel issues at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
PHONE TREE UPDATES
Please note that APFA InfoReps are actively making phone calls to all members to update the APFA PhoneTree data and ask a few questions about Union communications and participation. If you receive such a call please take a few minutes of your time to provide the information requested.
Joint talks with the company resumed under mediation this week on Tuesday, April 28, in Miami. Last week, your APFA Negotiating Team prepared proposals for the remaining articles still open in our fight for a new working agreement.
The latest Negotiations news updates will be posted on the Negotiations page of the APFA website following Team member reports to the APFA Board of Directors and subsequent distribution to the APFA InfoReps.
To get full access to the website and all the news provided, be sure you have a website login. Members needing an initial login password should start with the ìFirst Visitî link on the website login form. If you have forgotten your password, use the ìLost Passwordî link.
Continue to send your comments and concerns to the APFA Team members directly through their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or the web link, ìTell Your Team What Your Wantî on the Negotiations page of the website.
NEW YORK RETIREMENT SEMINARS
On May 12 and 13, retirement seminars will be held for Flight Attendants in two New York base locations: LGA on Tuesday, May 12, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM in the 3rd Floor Conference Room, and at JFK on Wednesday, May 13, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM in the DuPont Conference Center, Terminal 8, next to Flight Ops. Representatives from both AA and APFA will be present. To get the most out of these helpful seminars, print out and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from Jetnet.
IMPROVEMENTS FOR DOWNTOWN LHR LAYOVERS
Crew members laying over at the downtown LHR hotel will soon notice the addition of the refrigerators in all crew rooms (scheduled for installation Sunday and Monday, May 3 and 4) and an ironing board/iron in each room. New gym equipment is scheduled to be installed by May 20. A July 4th party for airline crews will be hosted for those laying over at LHR (long) for the holiday. Check for details in the crew room.
DOMESTIC MUTUAL TRANSFER REMINDER
From the APFA Contract Department: The preliminary pairing for the next round of domestic mutual transfers will be made from those who have transfer requests on file as of 0830 central on Monday, May 4. It is imperative that all domestic Flight Attendants review their transfer request prior to this date to ensure their current request reflects only transfers they are willing to accept. We still find that some pairings are not successful as one or more Flight Attendants do not accept the mutual transfer offer. Please remove any transfer request that you are not interested in accepting prior to May 4, so that your fellow Flight Attendants have the greatest chance of getting to the base they desire during this period of limited transfer opportunities.
APFA MEMBERS SPEAK OUT!
Union members speak out in APFAís YouTube videos. View all of them on our YouTube channel at:
GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFITING THE WINGS FOUNDATION
The Tarrant County Central Labor Council is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Honorable Jim Wright Invitational Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 28 at the Golf Club at Fossil Creek in Fort Worth, Texas (www.thegolfclubatfossilcreek.com). This year’s proceeds will benefit the Wings Foundation and the working families of Tarrant County. A flyer with schedules, process and sign-up forms is available from APFA.org at: images/PDFs/jim_wright.pdf.
Have you moved recently? Changed your phone number or email address? Please be sure you inform your Union as accurate contact information is vital, particularly as we move further along in the negotiations process. Check your information online through the Member Services link at the top of the APFA website and make any necessary corrections. If you cannot sign into the Member Services screen, email: email@example.com and make sure your information is up-to-date.
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Please remember our 1261 APFA members on furlough and awaiting recall.
The Wings Foundation has a website with information on base contact numbers, donation forms and assistance requests. Go to: www.wingsfoundation.com.