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9.21.09 – (LAA) – Appeal Over the Restructruing Participation Agreement

Special APFA HotLine from APFA President Laura Glading for Monday, September 21, 2009.

Dear APFA Member,

Today, September 21, we have been advised by our legal counsel that the appeal over the Restructuring Participation Agreement (RPA) lawsuit decision (the “Lindsay case” formerly known as the “Marcoux case”) has been decided in APFA’s favor.

The initial lawsuit, detailed on our website and in several Skyword articles over the past few years, had initially been ruled in our favor in a decision handed down by Judge Gershon of the US District Court on July 22, 2008. An appeal was filed and oral arguments were heard on July 6, 2009 by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

This new decision, upholding Judge Gershon’s original findings, is good news for all APFA members who have seen far too much time, energy and dues dollars spent defending a difficult decision made by your Union leaders and by the membership at a most trying time in our recent history. The necessary actions taken by APFA in 2003 have been emphatically upheld by both the US District Court and the Court of Appeals. The complete text of the decision is posted on the APFA website. (or click here)

Now more than ever, it is time for all members to put these divisive distractions behind us. We must stand together against the real challenges that we face in our current struggle to achieve a working agreement that both recognizes and rectifies the sacrifices made and being made still under the RPA. Clearly the road ahead is not easy.

Our mediated talks last week with American management ended on Friday with no progress as the company continues to stall. They come to the table unprepared to present proposals. Promises to provide APFA with requested data are not met. They refuse to put forth a comprehensive pay proposal, nor even a time we can expect one.

Their clear objective is to rearrange our current contractual provisions, only providing improvements where they can counterbalance them by further concessions elsewhere. These counterbalanced cost-outs amount to nothing more than fuzzy math taking money from one of your pockets and giving it back as a supposed benefit when it is nothing but another concession.

They call this: “zero sum.” We call it “ZERO CHANCE” of meeting our members’ needs, or of achieving membership ratification.

Accordingly, I have contacted the National Mediation Board and will be meeting with them Tuesday afternoon in Washington to discuss the current state of our talks. Though a number of dates have been set for further bargaining through the end of the year, APFA questions the value of continued meetings with a management intent on sitting idly by while our members continue to give every day. Section 6 bargaining under the Railway Labor Act is designed to pressure both sides to actively participate. We have done more than our share and it is time for American to do likewise.

My meeting with the NMB will follow an interview before the Dunlop Commission. Originally formed under President Bill Clinton, this commission has been revived by President Barack Obama to investigate and report on the present state, and on the future, of Worker-Management Relations. APFA is uniquely positioned to contribute to their research and findings.

In the meantime, all APFA members must take every opportunity to become actively involved in your Union’s efforts. Right now, we are asking that you wear only your APFA pin with the GOT UNION yellow disk and your wings on your uniform jacket. As we proceed, we will need everyone’s cooperation as we step up our actions.

We cannot allow American to persist in their plan to extract even more sacrifices from our work force. Only with solidarity and determination will we reach our goals, defend our profession and secure our futures.

In Unity,


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