Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

9.25.09 – (LAA) – APFA Meets with DC Officials, GOT UNION Yellow Discs, Virtual Picket Line, OUR TURN Bag Tag Inserts, SLT VC Election, Retirement Seminars

APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, September 25, 2009.

QUICK ALERTS

  • APFA meets with Washington officials over the state of our talks.
  • GOT UNION yellow disk on every uniform! Show you support our fight.
  • Gear up for the real thing! Practice your “march” on the APFA virtual picket line.
  • New OUR TURN bag tag inserts available to print, cut and carry. (click here)
  • STL Vice Chairperson election underway. (click here for information)
  • Retirement seminars scheduled at DFW, NYC and ORD.

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE-APFA MAKES ITS VOICE HEARD IN WASHINGTON

As detailed in her Special HotLine Update earlier this week, APFA President Laura Glading, accompanied by Secretary Denise Pointer, met on Tuesday, with numerous government officials in Washington who exercise considerable authority and influence over our present negotiations with American. President Glading discussed in detail the current status of our talks with the Dunlop Commission, a panel originally established by President Clinton to review and submit recommendations over the state of Labor-Management relations. Now reactivated by President Obama and headed by Josh Javits, the commission heard APFA’s views of and concerns about negotiating under the Railway Labor Act.

President Glading expressed her tremendous appreciation for the opportunity provided during the two-hour meeting to elaborate on labor’s relationship with the National Mediation Board and our Union’s suggestions on current policies and possible improvements, stating: “Labor has much catching up to do and we should be grateful for the occasion afforded APFA to promote a renewed focus on the workers’ perspective in the bargaining process.”

Shortly following the Dunlop Commission meeting, President Glading, Secretary Pointer and APFA’s Legal Counsel Rob Clayman conferred with National Mediation Board members, the Director of Mediation and our current mediator over our Team’s frustrations in the lack of progress in the ongoing bargaining with AA management. In this two-hour discussion, held at President Glading’s request, APFA clearly delineated its position that further talks will be fruitless unless and until American comes to the table prepared to present long-promised data and analyses, to move off their fixation on “zero-sum” and to put forth comprehensive pay proposals with real increases. President Glading was pleased with the attention given by the NMB to our concerns and said afterward: “We were emphatic that we are not interested in further meetings with a management that refuses to budge from positions for which they cannot and will not even give details. We can no longer just negotiate with ourselves.”

Before talks broke off last Friday, Mediator Jones had established future joint meeting dates for October, November and December. Following Tuesday’s progress evaluation, October’s dates have been designated for comprehensive mediated meetings between APFA’s lead negotiator, legal counsel, and economist-along with their counterparts at AA-to review and come to agreement on proposal “cost-outs,” which should go far to move the talks forward.

MEMBERSHIP INVOLVEMENT IN OUR TURN AROUND CAMPAIGN WILL BE KEY

Bringing attention to the bargaining process through high-level meetings in Washington will mean little without full membership support in bringing pressure to the front line. The company clearly feels that the current national economic climate has been their ace-in-the-hole and that delaying tactics play to their advantage. We must use this time to gather our forces as well.

Your Negotiating Team needs the support of every member to show that our Flight Attendants are tired of waiting and that it’s now OUR TURN. Read the information from your Team coming to you soon in the mail. It will detail more clearly exactly what AA’s demand for a “zero sum” contract will mean to you in terms of more work with less pay and benefits. Your Team will not bring you a concessionary agreement.

InfoRep meetings at every base are being scheduled for October as we approach 18 months of bargaining. Picketing and leafleting events are in the works for our upcoming strike anniversary date of November 18. It is clear we must again remind American of our ability to pull together and show our strength and that our unity still pays. Put on your yellow GOT UNION disk now and demand those you fly with do the same to show their support for our fight.

For a replacement pin or disk, email: member@apfa.org or leave a message at headquarters extension 8153.

COOPERATION AMONG LABOR GROUPS GROWS

APFA is not alone at American Airlines in facing stalled bargaining talks. Nor are American’s unionized workers alone in the airline industry when it comes to open contracts and active negotiations with management. APFA is building on its relationships with our unionized sisters and brothers both within our company and without to capitalize on our collective strengths.

APFA’s National Officers have a full docket next week in meetings beginning Monday with fellow leaders at the Allied Pilots Association (APA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU). On Tuesday and Wednesday, APFA will host the latest in a series of meetings of the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions. The Coalition brings together leaders from Flight Attendant workgroups currently represented by APFA, the International Association Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the United Steel Workers (USW), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the TWU. Whether speaking of sister unions at American or those representing Flight Attendants at other airlines, the key here is that we can all learn from each other by sharing our common wisdom, experiences and strategies.

STL VICE CHAIRPERSON ELECTION

On Tuesday, September 22, the APFA National Ballot Committee mailed out ballots for the Vice Chairperson election at STL. Ballots must be received in the designated P.O. Box by 10 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, October 22, 2009.

After allowing adequate time for mail delivery, STL base Flight Attendants needing a duplicate ballot may request one by:

  • calling the National Ballot Committee at 817.540.0108 extension 8311, or
  • emailing: ballot@apfa.org, or
  • for those with an APFA website password, using the online Duplicate Ballot Request Form from the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org.

In accordance with the APFA Policy Manual, if both an original and duplicate ballot are received, only the duplicate will be counted. Duplicate ballots will be issued, upon request, up to five (5) days prior to the ballot due date.

You must be a member in good standing (dues current or on an official APFA payment plan) no later than five (5) days prior to the election in order to be deemed eligible to vote. Payment plans must be executed at least thirty (30) days prior to the balloting date for the member to be deemed eligible to vote for their Base Representatives. If you have questions about your dues status, or need to arrange a payment plan, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 817.540.0108 extension 8154, or email: dues@apfa.org.

As detailed on the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org, the STL Vice Chair election is being conducted under the supervision of the US Department of Labor. For answers to your specific questions about the election and balloting procedures, contact the APFA National Ballot Committee via email to: ballot@apfa.org or by calling headquarters extension 8311.

RETIREMENT SEMINARS

APFA Retirement seminars for Flight Attendants are scheduled at:

  • DFW on Monday, October 19 at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (The seminar on October 23, previously announced here, is cancelled.) The meeting place will be the Yandry Center, located across gate C2 in DFW terminal C. APFA Retirement Specialists Patrick Hancock and Jackie Philips will be present, as well as APFA reps from DFW and IDF.

Additional company-sponsored, Flight Attendant-specific seminars are scheduled for:

  • LGA on Tuesday, October 27, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Conference Room.
  • JFK on Wednesday, October 28, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the DuPont Center, Terminal 8.
  • ORD on Thursday, October 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the West Conference Room.

APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock will also be present at the New York and Chicago meetings and will be available for one-on-one Q&A..

Discussions include pension selections and retirement benefits, including insurance and travel. To get the most out of these helpful and popular seminars, print out and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from Jetnet. Flight Attendants from all bases are welcome to attend and no reservations are required.

REMINDERS FOR THOSE GOING ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Uniform Ordering: You cannot order uniform items while on a leave. Since uniform points expire at the end of each year and do not roll over to the next year, you would need to place an order for uniform items prior to the start of your leave.

Dues Obligations: The APFA Treasurer reminds those Flight Attendants currently on, or soon going out on, a voluntary Overage Leave of Absence that you remain dues obligated during the leave. Once you return from your leave, if you have not prepaid your dues or paid monthly throughout your leave, you will have sixty (60) days to set up a payment plan for the dues accrued and owed. This payment plan must result in payment of your dues accrued during the leave in a time period no longer than twice the length of your leave. It is easier to prepay your dues upfront, or to leave a credit card on file for monthly billing. You will still receive a monthly statement. Make your arrangements via email to the Dues Department at: dues@apfa.org. Or call headquarters extension 8154.

– – – – –
Remember that there remain currently 1,252 members on furlough and awaiting recall.

Click on your base on the new and updated Wings Foundation website for local representatives’ contact information and fund raising activities. The site also has information on can recycling efforts, PVD donations and forms for seeking assistance. Go to: wingsfoundation.com.

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