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6.05.09 – Membership Outreach Meetings Begin, Onboard Sales, Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, Southwest Pilots Reject Tentative Agreement, Air France 447, Memorial Plaque,

This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Weekly HotLine update for Friday, June 5, 2009.

The Leave of Absence (PLOA) proffer for July/August/September closes June 10 (10:00 AM central)! A link to information and the proffer ballot is available on the APFA website (or click here to go directly to the Flight Service website page – login required.)


Today caps a busy week at APFA with the start – at DFW – of the Membership Outreach Meetings coming to each base beginning today through July 1. See all the dates, times and places at These Union rallies will bring members of APFA’s Negotiating Team, President Laura Glading as well as Base Leaders to engage APFA members in the next step in our fight for a new and improved contract.

In a Special HotLine Update recorded on May 30, President Glading stated that ” [AA management] continues to demonstrate that they are unwilling to give us the contract we deserve. ” It is clear the company does not believe in the resolve of our members. Together, we must prove them wrong”

Though this session of negotiations concluded without a TA, the Team did achieve an agreement on Article 10 – Reserve, bringing the total number of TA’d articles to 22. APFA is prepared to reach a complete deal now. The Federal Mediator has scheduled two full weeks of bargaining: in Dallas beginning July 20 and Washington, DC beginning July 27. But clearly, while we are ready, the company remains complacent.

And why not? We’ve proven to the feds that Flight Attendant sacrifices made in 2003 to help save this airline have grown beyond the agreed $340 million per year. Delaying the relief we need saves the company money – meaning more dollars in their yearly executive bonus package.

Show the company that we are unified in our resolve. Participate in your Union’s activities. Beginning today, we re-launch the Pins and Wings campaign to provide a visible sign to management that we stand together. Wear only your Union pin and Wings (and any required name tag) on your uniform. Replace a lost APFA pin by sending an email request with your name, base, employee number and current address to:


Proof positive of management’s disingenuous approach to contract talks is their suspiciously-timed rollout of the Onboard Retail Sales initiative. Rather than bargaining with your APFA representatives over this issue, the company was busy preparing OSR software updates, HI6 messages and American Way magazine announcements of in-flight SkyMall sales, all while refusing to bring us their proposals on concrete pay issues. “Outrageous,” “brazen” and “despicable” are some of the terms our members are using to define this end run around the negotiations process and farm out our services to a third party for the carrot-dangling prospect of potential commissions. This is their solution to our recession-eroded earnings.

In a briefing at Headquarters on Wednesday, the APFA Board of Directors reiterated its resolve against the imposition of this scheme outside of Section 6 bargaining. In a letter to the VPs of Onboard Services and Employee Relations, APFA maintains that ” the form and amount of [our] pay is subject to collective bargaining “, ” reasserts your Unionís position as your exclusive bargaining agent and demands that management ” withdraw these programs until they are made part of a new collective bargaining agreement.î

A copy of the letter to Ms. Curtis and Mr. Burdette is being mailed now to each member. Accompanying the letter is a copy of the offensive HI6 message and instructions on how to deliver a strong message to management that, when it comes to our pay, negotiate it! (Click here for the letter, here for the HI6.) Please return the HI6 message to your Flight Service Manager any way you can, as soon as possible.


The APFA Executive Committee held its quarterly meeting at APFA Headquarters following the special Board of Directors briefing on Wednesday afternoon and continuing into Thursday. Agendas, minutes and resolutions will be posted on the Events/Meetings page of once compiled and approved.


While we ramp up our fight for a new agreement in the face of the companyís foot-dragging, it is vital that every member stay informed and engaged. Each member must be prepared to do her and his part in actions planned by your Union. Your voice is needed in this battle with the company for improved compensation, benefits and work rules.

Be sure you have the most up-to-date information on file with APFA. If you have moved or changed your phone number or email address, please update your information with your Union. Use the Member Services link on our website, or email:


Pilots at Southwest Airlines narrowly rejected their tentative agreement with the company. Reported in Aviation Daily as a first time in the union’s history that members of the Southwest Airlines Pilotsí Association (SWAPA) have voted against a deal – approving seven previous contracts – the 95% of pilots voting rejected the TA by a margin of 51% to 49%. The rejection was considered a surprise as the unionís board had endorsed the agreement. Southwest Flight Attendants, represented by the TWU, recently overwhelmingly approved their new contract.


Late Sunday, June 1, came the news of the loss of Air France flight 447, an Airbus A330 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris-CDG. The last contact with the flight crew was in routine messages to Brazilian controllers about 3 and a half hours into the trans-Atlantic flight. Forty minutes later, a series of automated maintenance alerts were received by Air France indicating electrical and cabin pressurization problems. The flight subsequently failed to appear on radar as it was due to approach the African coast. A search began June 2 along the flight path, with no sign of any survivors among the 12 crew and 216 passengers. Catastrophic events such as these are thankfully infrequent, though we at AA are no strangers to them as our own history can attest. Despite their infrequency, we are not immune to the emotional impact of such occurrences. They are reminders not just of our own experiences but of the very nature of the environment in which we ply our trade. Please take a moment after your read this HotLine to reflect upon the crew and passengers lost, their friends and their families.


APFA Division Rep Liz Mallon responded to the 30th anniversary of AA 191 with a reminder that a plaque memorializing the crew has recently been hung in Chicago operations (K19, at the entrance to the sign-in area). Thank you Liz and all the Reps who worked at achieving this long-overdue honor at the flight’s originating city and base of the three pilots, supplementing a memorial to the Flight Attendants in San Diego. (Eight of the Flight Attendants were SAN based, two were LAX based. A BOS based pilot was occupying a cockpit jumpseat.) A photo of the ORD plaque is included on the ìIn memory ofî page of Go to “About APFA” (or click here.)

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While you continue your duties as safety professionals, keep in mind that there are 1,261 APFA members on furlough and awaiting recall.

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