Untitled Document Special HotLine update for Friday, February 19 from APFA President Laura Glading.
Today, American has made a move unprecedented in our current talks of going directly to the APFA membership and distributing the Tentative Agreements reached so far. They make this move against the process agreed upon between our two negotiating teams.
In the second paragraph of their propaganda, they claim that in the January lockdown talks, they “… demonstrated [their] willingness to negotiate a new contract in a timely manner …” This is ludicrous, and flatly disingenuous in three ways.
One, AA’s “willingness” has been only to keep stalling and to extend their own benefit from the sacrifices we and all front line employees made nearly 7 years ago. Their “willingness” is only to reward themselves year-in and year-out for keeping our wages, work rules and benefits depressed while the sky is the limit for their own bonuses.
Two, their sense of the word “negotiating” misses the point entirely of what it means to give and take at the bargaining table. They have stubbornly stuck to their goal of giving us nothing and have, in fact, moved to the position of extracting even more concessions from our members.
Third and last, the use of the word “timely” is a crime against any reasonable use of this word. “Timely” passed months ago. “Timely” can in no earthly way be used to characterize talks rapidly approaching 2 years in length.
AA management is trying to bargain with you directly, as if the package of Tentative Agreements so far reached is something they are able to provide you now. Fact is, these agreements cannot stand alone. They stand only as part of a comprehensive deal covering all areas: not just cherry-picked sections, but ALL parts of the agreement including your salary and your benefits. As you have all seen in our video update or read in the transcript, their salary and benefits proposals have only two aims: cuts for you and more money for them.
The deal they claim ready to make means only disaster for our members.
This desperate step by management, just one week before the start of renewed talks at the NMB offices in Washington next Friday, is clearly a last act of a company so clueless in how to manage their greatest resource that all three unions at AA are mired in contentious bargaining. One could be a fluke, two might point to a trend, but all three unions—APFA, TWU and APA—can only be a sign of deep and systemic incompetence from the highest levels of AMR. In fact the TWU, like our union, is on the verge of requesting release from talks and declaration of impasse.
We ask all members to return the company’s email propaganda and their duplicitous packet of half-truths.
Tell them loud and clear: “My Negotiating Team Speaks for Me!”
Get ready for “All Systems Red” on February 26. Stay unified and we will achieve our goals.
APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, February 19, 2010
- It’s APFA vs. AA in a pillow fight – Are you seeing red yet?
- Go to YouTube and see the Negotiations Update today
- Strike Captains gather for training
- Be sure you are ready for ‘ALL SYSTEMS RED’ beginning February 26
- What’s in your wallet? How does your bonus compare?
- APFA goes to Washington
IT’S A VERITABLE PILLOW FIGHT
AA management has responded in characteristic fashion to APFA’s protest over their newest plan to skirt around the negotiations process and add more duties to your work day in the form of selling pillows and blankets onboard. It’s not enough that AA’s removing yet more amenities from the traveling public. That seems to be the norm nowadays. But taking a step back to last June when we protested their intent to farm out Flight Attendants as shills for SkyMall vendors with their onboard retail sales scheme, AA seems surprised that we would protest this new attempt.
It remains APFA’s position that any form of a Flight Attendant’s pay or work rules may not be unilaterally implemented. Seems they need another reminder to “Negotiate It!” with our chosen representatives. Print out their message—conveniently “pre-stamped” with our advice—and deliver it to your Flight Service Manager. Tell them: “My negotiating team speaks for me!” (Download the form here.)
MUST SEE VIDEO – NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE NOW PLAYING
We do agree wholeheartedly with one assertion in AA Vice President of Employee Relations Mark Burdette’s response letter to APFA: “… we are at a critical stage in our bargaining …” This is made all the more clear in the Negotiations Update video recorded by President Laura Glading and APFA Chief Negotiator Anne Loew. The two illustrate in detail that AA’s goal is further deterioration of our standard of living. The video is a must see for all members. Go to: youtube.com/aaflightattendants.
As we prepare to meet the company for a five-day extension of our earlier lockdown bargaining—set for February 27 to March 3 at the NMB offices in Washington—everyone must be clear on where we stand and where the company stands. A transcript for those who cannot access YouTube is available here. The concessionary proposals put forth by American are also included in a companion document available through a link on the Negotiations page at APFA.org (website login required).
STRIKE CAPTAINS MEET FOR TRAINING SESSION
As we prepare for the continuation of lockdown talks, we also continue our preparation for the next steps of Section 6 bargaining under the Railway Labor Act. Though the self help stage occurs only after exhausting the bargaining and mediation phases—which has not yet occurred—we cannot ignore the fact that we have reached self help before. Our members responded in 1993 to the call by their Union to take the necessary action. Much planning and education went into the decision of what action to take, when, and how to take it. This time—should it come to that—will be no different.
While members continue to contact APFA with questions regarding the self help stage of talks, be assured that your Base and National Representatives will provide all the information our members need as we move along this process. Meantime, as we did in 1993, members must make it clear to management they are each willing to take whatever action their Union deems appropriate when and if the time comes.
Our National Strike Administrators held training on Wednesday the 17th for the Strike Captains designated at each of our 18 bases, providing tools to support the APFA membership. Staying informed is a vital key to our unity and solidarity. Share the information from APFA with your colleagues and encourage everyone to stay in the know.
SHOW THE WORLD YOU ARE SEEING RED – STARTING FEBRUARY 26
A day in advance of our next meeting with the company, all members, system-wide, will turn the disks behind our APFA pins to the red “GOT GUTS” side and keep them that way until further notice. This sign of unity and solidarity will be a visible reminder day-in and day-out—to management, to the traveling public, and to each other—that we remain committed to do what is necessary to achieve the contract we deserve, to realize the rewards for the sacrifices we have made, and to hold the company to the promises made long ago. Remember, it’s “All Systems Red” beginning February 26. Members needing a new APFA pin and/or disk should contact the Membership Department ASAP to get a replacement in time. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817.540.0108, extension 8153.
APFA RESPONDS TO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BONUS PAYMENTS
APFA responded to the payment of Customer Service Bonuses last week in a news release entitled: “American Airlines Offers ‘Token,’ Rather than Real Pay Increase” (click here to read). Comparing the bonus to what our top execs have awarded themselves, President Glading stated: “In 2007 and 2008, the last two years for which reports have been filed, American’s top 5 executives received bonuses of $4.2 million each, equating to more than 4,500 times what Flight Attendants received. … It’s time for American to invest in its most important asset – its employees. … It’s time the company recognizes the sacrifices and excellent service that its Flight Attendants provide, and puts real proposals on the table that improve our wages, benefits and working conditions.”
APFA MEETS WITH SISTER UNIONS – CONTINUES WASHINGTON LOBBYING
In the few days before the start of the five-day talks at the NMB offices, the APFA National Officers will be attending, in Washington, the next scheduled meeting of the Flight Attendant union coalition. This regular conference of leaders from the nation’s major Flight Attendant labor organizations is another opportunity to share knowledge and skills with our sisters and brothers from other carriers. Competitors though our employers may be in business, Flight Attendants industry-wide have more in common than ever and face a myriad of similar battles on the labor/management front. The collective work of Flight Attendant unions has never been more important as the new Washington administration opens to modifying practices which long favored anti-labor/pro-management ends.
Following the meeting, a full day of joint lobbying of key Congressional leaders is in store. Accompanying the National Officers in lobbying will be APFA’s Legislative Affairs Representative, Flight Attendant Julie Frederick. Julie has been actively involved in reforming the Legislative Affairs Department at APFA, whose mission is: “…to establish a relationship with members of Congress and their staff in order to educate them on the changing role and duties of American Airlines Flight Attendants, and to seek their support on legislative issues that are in the ongoing interests of the APFA membership.” See the Legislative Affairs page of APFA.org for more information.
APFA 2010 ANNUAL CONVENTION
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).
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.
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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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