APFA issues statement regarding Onboard Sales programs
Dear APFA member,
On Friday, American issued a special briefing on the “Order Onboard with SkyMall” program. Under the program, Flight Attendants may participate in the sale of products from the SkyMall catalogue for which they will receive a commission.
As we have previously stated, compensation must be negotiated and cannot be determined and imposed solely by the Company. In this case, however, SkyMall, and not American, is actually responsible for this program and the payment of commissions. In fact, in order to receive any payment for the sale of an item the Flight Attendant must register on the SkyMall website and agree to specific terms and conditions as stated by SkyMall. “Signing up” with SkyMall and accepting these terms constitute an individual contract. If a Flight Attendant’s earnings from the program exceed $600, SkyMall will issue a 1099 form covering that income.
Your employment is with American and the only contract that sets forth your working conditions is the one negotiated by APFA and ratified by the Flight Attendants. American cannot require you to enter into a contract with a third party, particularly when that contract may create an employment relationship between you and SkyMall.
Accordingly, we are recommending that you do not enter into this contract with SkyMall at this time. Simply put, the terms and conditions of this program must first be negotiated by APFA and American and ratified by the Flight Attendants.
As you know we have already advised American of our position that all forms of pay are subject to negotiation and cannot be unilaterally implemented by the Company. In addition we will be advising SkyMall that its program and compensation scheme interfere with APFA’s status as the exclusive bargaining representative of American Airlines’ Flight Attendants as well as the Flight Attendants’ labor agreement. We will ask SkyMall to cease and desist from the implementation of this program until such time as APFA and American negotiate its terms.
Finally, without prejudice to our position that this is a matter that must be resolved by collective bargaining, APFA will file a Presidential Grievance over American’s decision to undertake the “Order Onboard with SkyMall” program as well as the program for the sale of Heathrow Express tickets. To be clear, our recommendations and actions are not intended to affect or in any way alter how you perform your job.
The APFA National Officers
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