Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

2.12.10 – (LAA) – YouTube Channel Updated, All Systems Red, AA Announces More Onboard Sales Plans, APFA Updates US Congress on Negotiations Progress, Travel Seperation Program

This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, February 12, 2010.

QUICK ALERTS

  • YouTube channel updated with February 2010 Negotiations report (video) (transcript)
  • AA Flight Attendants go ‘ALL SYSTEMS RED’ beginning February 26
  • Commitments to customers? Where is AA’s commitment to us?
  • AA announces more onboard sales plans—forgets to tell your Union
  • APFA updates US Congress on negotiations progress
  • Travel Separation Program for furloughees: offer deadline is February 19
  • Holiday office closure – February 15

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE CHANNEL

A negotiations update video report by APFA President Laura Glading and APFA Chief Negotiator Anne Loew has been posted for viewing on our YouTube channel. Go to youtube.com/aaflightattendants. A transcript for those who cannot access YouTube is available here. The video details the concessionary proposals put forth by American during the lockdown negotiations period of January 11 – 21, also included in a companion document available through a link on the Negotiations page at APFA.org (website login required). As recapped in the video: “[Management’s] proposals would put 50 cents in one pocket while taking two dollars out of another. By the year 2014, the company’s current proposal would make American Airlines Flight Attendants experience a 41.4% loss of real income over the past 10 years. It is no longer [American’s mantra of] zero sum, but less than zero sum.”

Explaining the current process as controlled by the National Mediation Board under the Railway Labor Act, President Glading states: “Our earlier optimism that we can reach a deal has lessened a bit by the reality of the company’s actions and their clear intent to stall, and to extract more concessions. But we still believe a deal is possible. We remain committed to the process.

“But the process includes the responsibility of both sides to bargain fairly. The company simply has not lived up to their part of the bargain. Unless there is a dramatic change forthcoming, we must demand the process bring us to an impasse, the next step—and our right—under the Railway Labor Act.”

President Glading continued with a renewed call for unity: “Our ranks must remain unified, strong and as determined as your Negotiating Team to getting you the contract you deserve. We know that it’s been a tough year, and we know everyone is flying more and working harder than ever before. I want to personally thank each and every Flight Attendant for your hard work and your support. Your involvement in this campaign has been inspirational and is the key to our future success.”

‘ALL SYSTEMS RED’ STARTING FEBRUARY 26

The membership participation in our Red Day of January 19 was a great success and clearly caught the company’s attention, putting our unity and solidarity on full display. Now we are ready to step this up and involve everyone by going All Systems Red on February 26, turning our disks to the red GOT GUTS side and staying that way until further notice. All members, beginning February 26, must participate in this collective event to show that we are not complacent, nor will we let our needs take a back seat to AA management’s singular focus on further cuts. Members needing a new APFA pin and/or disk should contact the Membership Department ASAP to get a replacement in time. Email: member@apfa.org or call 817.540.0108, extension 8153. Be ready to show management that you are seeing red.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – ARE YOU FEELING THE LOVE?

If you have visited the Flight Service website lately, you’ll see a lot of hullabaloo over what the company is calling Customer Experience, yet another catchphrase in an endless parade of catchphrases designed to make Flight Attendants feel that the company’s taking an interest in what we really do—day in and day out—to keep our passengers safe and comfortable. They’ve dedicated an entire new section of their website to it in fact. But the reality is, their slogan “Committing to every customer, every day” is just another case of “do as I say and not as I do.” Are you feeling the commitment from American to reward you for your experience, for what you have done for their bottom line for the past six years and counting? Is it helping you pay your mortgage? Your car payment? Your kid’s tuition? What we need is a new agreement now, with just rewards for our sacrifices, real restoration of our standard of living and security for our futures. Until then, all this talk of Customer Experience is yet another distraction. It’s enough to make you see red!

MEMBERS AND THE FLYING PUBLIC RESPOND

Members email daily with their comments on the company’s continued emphasis on everything but its front line workers. Said one in response to this latest Customer Experience initiative by Flight Service: “How can AA expect the Flight Attendant corps to focus on customer service when our careers hang in the balance? … The customers will be better served by Flight Attendants who feel appreciated and properly compensated.”

Passengers respond too, with one recently writing: “As a loyal AA passenger, I fully support AA Flight Attendants and the APFA in the quest toward a fair contract.” Members and the public alike can come together in solidarity through the Internet and social networking sites. The APFA Virtual Picket line “marches” 24 hours a day and is open to all who support our cause and our fight to keep flying and to maintain our profession, Go to: APFAvirtualpicket.com and join today and encourage your friends and family to do so, too. Follow APFA on facebook and twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Share our videos which feature our own members in their own words.

PILLOWS AND BLANKETS FOR SALE? SAYS WHO?

In case you missed the news, American announced to press sources that it was planning to remove the pillows and blankets from the main cabin on domestic and certain international flights and instead offer a pillow/blanket packet for sale onboard. If you are trying to find this in your contract, we’ll save you some time: it’s not in there. And that’s a problem. Not that there’s been no opportunity for management to discuss this and other onboard sales schemes with your Union. But that pesky agreement just keep getting in the way of AA’s beeline to the passengers’ wallets by way of its Flight Attendants. On February 11, APFA President Glading informed AA, once again, that we remain “… vehemently opposed to the Company’s unilateral implementation of onboard retail initiatives because these types of programs must be negotiated.” We’ll be sure to have copies of our letter handy to give them personally on February 27th, a courtesy they did not even provide us when making their plans known. (See APFA’s letter to AA here.)

APFA CONTACTS CONGRESS WITH BARGAINING UPDATE

Following letters last month to dozens of AA’s top vendors (click here to read) to explain where we stand and how our achieving a new and improved contract can benefit their bottom line, APFA President Laura Glading has sent letters to members of both houses of the US Congress to make sure they remain updated on the state of our talks, the company’s concessionary demands and our desire to protect our careers and stop the continued erosion of our standard of living. The letters provide an easy way for each Representative and Senator to fax their encouragement to American management to do the right thing, bargain fairly and recognize the sacrifices Flight Attendants have with the agreement we need and deserve. (See the text of the letter and response fax here.)

EVENTS AND MEETINGS – APFA GOVERNANCE

The APFA Executive Committee (EC) held its quarterly meeting at APFA Headquarters on Tuesday, February 9. Minutes, resolutions and other meeting documents will be posted to the APFA website Events/Meetings page (under the Members’ Resources menu) once completed and approved.

The 2010 APFA Annual Convention will be held in the DFW area from Sunday, March 7 through Wednesday, March 10. Scheduled start time on day one is 9:00 AM. Location is the Nylo Hotel in Irving, TX. Members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of the Convention. Be aware that BOD Meetings/Conventions may have frequent and lengthy off record (closed) sessions.

Activities by the Board of Directors at the Annual Convention will include approval of the fiscal year 2011 budget, election of Ad Hoc places 3 and 4 of the APFA Executive Committee and appointment of various committee members as provided in the APFA Constitution.

Soon after the start of the new fiscal year on April 1, 2010, the President and Vice President shall name their appointments for National Coordinators and Division Representatives respectively, with confirmation by the Executive Committee to take place at the next EC meeting in June. Information on applying for the numerous positions (Ad Hoc, Committee Members, National Coordinators, Division Representatives) is contained in previous HotLines (click here <index.php/1859/#resumes> ).

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 is 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.

OFFICE HOLIDAY CLOSURE

The APFA Headquarters office will be closed on Monday, February 15, in observance of the President’s Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, February 16.
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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.

Please visit all our APFA Supported organizations through their websites:

Wings // Airline Ambassadors // UNICEF/Change for Good
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