APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, November 20, 2009.
- OUR TURN Around – November 18 event puts our solidarity on display
- Plans and preparation continue for future action
- Focus on the Constitution – voting methods
- APFA present at transport union global conference
- PLOA proffer open now for Jan-Mar 2010. Closes 0830 Central Nov 30
FLIGHT ATTENDANTS TURN OUT FOR ‘OUR TURN’ AROUND
OUR TURN Around event on Wednesday, November 18, brought Flight Attendants from around the system to airports at every base city and in numbers too big to ignore by anyone flying that day. Backed by our friends and supporters at APA and TWU—plus in-flight safety colleagues from United, Southwest, Delta and others—picketers numbered well over 2500 at more than a dozen airports. They clearly demonstrated the determination and the will of APFA Flight Attendants to achieve their goal of a new contract.
In a press conference in front of DFW Terminal C at the start of the event locally, President Laura Glading stated: “We have worked hard for the airline and made many sacrifices, and it is time [for American to] recognize and reward Flight Attendants for their excellent service.”
The Flight Attendants and their supporters distributed leaflets to passengers and held picket signs reading “Is Your Flight Red Today?” and “It’s Our Turn.” American’s managers were left wondering which of the thousands of AA flights would be designated RED—worked by Flight Attendants sporting a red GOT GUTS disk behind their union pin as a symbolic gesture that the flight would not have operated during a real strike action.
The simulated strike—no flights were actually disrupted—came on the anniversary of a real strike by APFA Flight Attendants against American, which largely grounded the airline for five days in 1993. Now, despite nearly 100 bargaining sessions in over 18 months of talks, American’s management has not even offered a pay proposal, leaving Flight Attendants struggling to make ends meet under a concessionary agreement dating back to 2003. Under that agreement, the Flight Attendants sacrificed $340 million per year in pay, work rules and benefits to keep the company out of bankruptcy. To this day, American continues to reap savings of over $1 million per day.
OUR TURN AROUND IS JUST ONE PART
This very public event is just one part of APFA’s campaign to exercise the power of solidarity and demonstrate that the unity of the membership truly pays. As we approach the start of the mediated, 10-day “lockdown” bargaining session on January 10, preparations continue for further actions. This includes the possibility of a strike authorization ballot early next year, largely depending on the outcome of the January sessions. The message is clear: we did what we had to do 16 years ago when facing an intransigent company. We can do it again should that time come.
In the fall 2009 Board of Directors meeting, President Glading appointed two very experienced APFA Representatives to administer our preparations over the coming weeks. IDF Flight Attendant Patrick Hancock (a negotiator during the 1993 strike), and IOR Flight Attendant Judy Ladislaw (APFA Vice President at the same time) will serve as APFA National Strike Administrators. Patrick and Judy will work with the Negotiating Team, the National Officers and the Board of Directors to coordinate the planning and execution of any membership action. Over the next few weeks, they will have communications for the members through this HotLine and information on how everyone can stay involved and engaged as we strive to reach our goal.
One thing all members must do and do today is to make sure their contact information is up-to-date. American does not share your address, phone or email changes with APFA. Email the Membership Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call headquarters ext. 8153 to make sure we have your current contact info. Use the same email address or extension to request a replacement APFA pin/and or disk. Wear only your APFA pin with the yellow side of the disk showing, and your Flight Attendant wings on your uniform. Do not turn your disk to the red side until advised to do so by an APFA Representative.
If you were unable to participate on November 18, you can still go online today and add your name to the APFA Virtual Picket line. Go to: apfavirtualpicket.com. Have your friends add their names too.
Share the APFA YouTube channel with your friends and family. Our several short videos describe our needs, our wants and our struggle. Go to: youtube.com/aaflightattendants
Watch for videos of our base activities and photos emailed from the field to be made available on the APFA website.
APFA ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT WORKERS’ FEDERATION MEETING
In addition to the APFA President Laura Glading’s presence at last week’s Department of Transportation Forum on the Future of U.S. Aviation (highlighted in last week’s hotline: click here, Vice President Brett Durkin recently represented APFA—through an invitation extended by the AFA and TWU—at the meeting of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). Meeting with the ITF complements APFA’s continued involvement in the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions and with other air transport unions around the nation and around the world. It complements as well our meetings with APA and TWU here at American. Transportation unions have an increasingly important role to play in defining the future of our industry. Despite our varied routes, cultures and regions, we face ever more similar struggles between labor and management. Vice President Durkin’s underscores the importance of and our commitment to sharing ideas and solutions with our sister organizations.
Read the press release from the conference: Unions Set Out Challenge on Airline Crisis – click here
Board Resolution 4 at the Fall 2009 Board of Directors Meeting focused on modernizing our voting methods and, with resulting efficiencies, modifies the makeup of the National Ballot Committee. This cost-saving proposal will bring secure, modern, standardized, and efficient electronic voting to our membership. The process will meet all dictates of Title IV of the LMRDA and Department of Labor requirements and will bring APFA’s voting methods in line with the National Mediation Board and other labor unions such as AFA-CWA, ALPA, IPA, NPA, and SWAPA, just to name a few. The experienced third party vendor APFA would likely use is the one that has conducted elections for the unions listed above and the NMB. The Constitution currently allows for a minimum of seven (7) members to serve on the National Ballot Committee. This change reduces that number to no fewer than four (4) members to serve on the NBC.
Your APFA leadership recommends that you vote to approve the change to voting methods.
Last week’s HotLine reviewed the Dues Increase proposal. Click here to read.
As the Constitutional Referendum ballot is being prepared, a detailed pamphlet with the summaries, the resolutions and the proposed text changes is also under development. Watch for it in your mailbox, and online, coming in early December.
PROFFERED LEAVES OF ABSENCE AVAILABLE FOR EARLY 2010
The company has opened a Leave of Absence (PLOA) proffer for the three month period January to March 2010 and advises that up to 500 awards are available. The PLOA proffer will close on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 0830 Central Time. The ballot is available on the Flight Service website and includes information regarding travel, benefits and seniority accrual on a PLOA. The APFA Contract Department includes these reminders: There is no D1 or other airline travel on a PLOA however other travel privileges remain the same. Occupational Seniority (OCC SEN) accrues for the first 180 days of a PLOA. Since this leave is only for 90 days OCC SEN will not be impacted unless the leave is consecutive with other leaves. If the leave is consecutive with other leaves (other than an Overage Leave of Absence) then the 180 days will be measured from the start date of the first leave.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT ONLINE TRAINING
The Flight Attendant Training Team has issued an HI6 regarding an outage of the Online Training site. The site used to launch online training will be unavailable from 0001 DEC 3 – 0800 DEC 7, Central Standard Time, in order to be upgraded. Any online lessons not completed prior to 0001 DEC3 will be lost. Incomplete lessons must be completed in their entirety after the system is back up on DEC 7. Lessons completed prior to 0001 DEC 3 will be credited and will not need to be retaken. Please be sure to bring your confirmation code to training to verify completion.
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Remember that there are currently 1,412 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
Join your fellow Flight Attendants in donating, or contributing your time and efforts toward these worthy causes.