This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, February 5, 2010.
- APFA responds to AA’s threat to hire scabs
- NMB extends lockdown bargaining period
- Training for Strike Captains and Base leaders scheduled
- Another ALL RED DAY set to show our solidarity
- AA’s vendors get an update on talks from APFA
- Travel Separation Program for those on recall list: offer deadline February 19
SPECIAL HOTLINE RESPONSE TO THREAT OF REPLACEMENT HIRING
In her Special HotLine update February 3, APFA President Laura Glading responded to reports of AAís inquiries to the FAA on the possibility of training replacements in the event of a Flight Attendant job action. Management has complained openly of our recent media events evoking our successful strike 16 years ago while they themselves now look to resurrect their failed 1993 scheme to replace us with marginally trained scabs. President Glading summed up this new threat of replacements as “a plan that literally just won’t fly.“
The burning question is why would the company make huge investments in a tactic that failed them miserably instead of recognizing the many years of economic sacrifice by their Flight Attendants with the ratifiable contract we deserve? Three quarters of us were around in 1993 and, as President Glading made clear: “[we] do not fear renewed and specious threats of replacement. Our members are increasingly frustrated and angry with management’s empty rhetoric and failed promises at every turn.“
Calling to task AA executives Mark Burdette and Taylor Vaughn along with American’s negotiating team, President Glading states plainly that they “are more concerned with bringing in replacement workers rather than getting our contract settled. This is a dangerous path to go down. “When we return to Washington at the end of February, in a continuation of [the January lockdown] talks under Federal mediation, management will have to answer to its Flight Attendants and to the NMB for this double-standard.“
INTENSIFIED TALKS EXTENDED
Another five-day period of intensified talks, from February 27 through March 3, were called for by the National Mediation Board following the end of the January 11 – 21 period of lockdown bargaining. President Glading’s update of January 21 detailed the disappointing lack of progress and the company’s insistence on– nothing but concessions on top of concessions.” Despite this, APFA remains committed to the process of collectively achieving an agreement that recognizes the sacrifices Flight Attendants have made, though AAís stalling and bad faith bargaining push us ever closer to impasse.
TRAINING FOR BASE STRIKE CAPTAINS
While a collectively bargained, ratifiable agreement is always the goal of Section 6 talks under the Railway Labor Act, there is a reason that the process includes as its final step: ìself helpî. Self help for a union does not always mean a full-out, system-wide strike. It could take many forms, all designed to keep the company guessing and increase the overall impact. Just how we might effect our version of self helpóshould it come to thatówill be based on many factors, including how best to accommodate our membersí needs and how best to counter the companyís own self help intentions, which we already see include the possibility of minimally trained replacementsóor at least the threat of such.
A look at the flow chart of Section 6 bargaining shows that at our current stage-mediation-ówe are still several steps away from a strike or other form of self help. But preparation is key even now. All members must deliver a clear and unified message to management that they are willing, able and ready to take any job action necessary should we reach the self help stage. APFAís two experienced National Strike Administrators have scheduled training for Strike Captains, now in place at each of our 18 bases. Additional training will be conducted for Base Chairs and Vice Chairs during the APFA Annual Convention. If you wish to volunteer to assist the Strike Captain at your base, please email your name, employee number and base to: email@example.com.
ANOTHER ìALL RED DAYî LOOMS TO AGAIN SHOW OUR RESOLVE
On the day before the Washington talks (February 27 – March 3), your APFA Negotiating Team is again calling on all members to show our solidarity as we did on January 19 by turning the disks behind our APFA pins to red. On Friday, February 26 and on this day only, all members should turn their disk behind their APFA pins to the red “GOT GUTS” side. The unity and resolve of our membership must be clearly displayed on every uniform. If you are missing your pin or disk, contact the Membership Department today to make sure you get a replacement in time. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call headquarters extension 8153. Use those same contact methods to provide any update or changes to your address, phone or email. Keeping this information up-to-date is vital to receiving timely alerts from APFA.
APFA NOTIFIES AAíS VENDORS OF PROGRESS OF OUR TALKS
APFA President Laura Glading has sent letters to dozens of vendors contracted by American Airlines for various services and products in order to keep them advised of the progress of our bargaining. As stated in the letter to the companies’ CEOs, “While the nature of our relationships with American may differ, our interests are very much the same. Ö Integral to an enterprise’s success is a workforce that is fairly compensated and rewarded for its sacrifices and contributions. Collective bargaining offers the parties an opportunity to reach an agreement that achieves these goals and is mutually beneficial.” See the complete letter text through a link on the Negotiations page of APFA.org. (website login required)
VOLUNTARY TRAVEL SEPARATION PROGRAM FOR FURLOUGHED FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
The Voluntary Travel Separation Program is open for eligible furloughed Flight Attendants who have recall rights. Eligible Flight Attendants have the opportunity to take advantage of a Five (5) or Ten (10) Year Voluntary Travel Separation. Either of these decisions will result in a permanent separation from the Company and will waive all recall rights. The election window for this voluntary program will close at 11:00 PM. Central Time, February 19, 2010. Information and a sample eligibility/instruction letter are available on the Furlough page of APFA.org. (login NOT required to access page)
CHICAGO RETIREMENT BRIEFINGS
APFA Retirement briefings, presented by IDF Flight Attendant, Patrick Hancock, are scheduled for Chicago on the following dates/times:
- February 25 at 1:00 PM
- March 24 at 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon
- April 27 at 2:00 PM
Briefings last approximately two hours and will be held in the Flight Service Conference Room on the lower level ops area at K19, across from the FYI Center. 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.
In accordance with Article IX, Section 2.A.(1) of the APFA Constitution and Section 12.B.16 of the APFA Policy Manual, Treasurer Juan Barrera has issued a notice advising the membership of the administrative and committee positions proposed for the upcoming fiscal year. These include the Division Representatives, National Coordinators, National Balloting Committee and Budget Committee members. Complete information is available through a document link on the Treasurer’s page of APFA.org (website login required).
As a reminder, two Ad Hoc positions will also be elected by delegates at the Annual Convention. The Willingness-to-Serve notification for Ad Hoc places 3 and 4 is available on the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org and may be returned to the APFA Secretary at any time prior to the Annual Convention commencing March 7.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
The APFA Executive committee will hold its next quarterly meeting in the Unity Pays room at APFA Headquarters (click here for map) beginning at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, February 9 (and, if necessary, 9:30 AM on Wednesday, February 10). Members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of the meeting.
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Remember that there are currently 1,410 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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UNICEF/Change for Good, is extending their special campaign for Haiti by directing all donations for the month of February to relief efforts there. See their website, or inquire of one of the many Flight Attendant “Champions for Children Volunteers,” for more information.
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